One word and one photo for each letter of the alphabet. That's how Community Action Kentucky is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty. The agency's photography and written word exhibit will be on display Thursday (Feb. 20) at the State Capitol. A press conference will be held at 11AM in the Rotunda. Special speeches will be given by those served by Community Action.
According to Community Action Council's Executive Director Malcolm Ratchford, the display focuses on both the accomplishments of the past half century and the ongoing challenges. "Of course, you could probably think of much more for each letter, but it was a simple way to emphasize the current need on poverty that we still have," he said.
Kentucky's poverty rate is around 19 percent, and Ratchford said pockets of extremely high poverty continue to exist in the Commonwealth.
The 23 Community Action agencies across the state help nearly a half million Kentuckians a year. Some of that help is crisis-based, but the long-term goal is to provide sustainable assistance for families trying to climb out of poverty.
"Meaning they need a job, they need housing, not necessarily emergency housing but a goal would be to get permanent housing," he stated. "Or their home needs to be weatherized to conserve energy. Or their children need to be in an early Head Start or Head Start program for education."
Community Action Agencies help the most vulnerable, disabled and low-income earning individuals and families in The Commonwealth through satellite offices in all 120 counties. They have been changing lives since the beginning of the War of Poverty that began 50 years ago. The exhibit will showcase some of these successes while challenging people not to give up the fight to end poverty in Kentucky.
For more information, visit www.bluegrasscommunityaction.org.