Bridges out of Poverty Community Forum

Our conferences have been postponed according to state and federal COVID 19 guidance. We will make a public announcement when we are able to reschedule.

Meanwhile, we invite you to read more about poverty, its many presumed causes and proposed solutions, so that when we finally gather to learn more and suggest solutions, you will be better informed.

Building Bridges Summit Videos

Day 1 – 06/17/2020
Day 2 – 06/19/2020
Day 3 – 06/22/2020
Day 4 – 06/23/2020

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Even though COVID 19 has us physically distanced, we will continue to meet electronically. More information on how to connect online will come through our constant contact newsletter. If you are not on our mailing list, contact

Additional information

Often measured by income and family size, poverty can be one of the greatest barriers to well-being. Virginia’s 2018 poverty rate, as defined by thresholds set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), was 10.7%, in our community, that rate was double. The United Way has developed another category called ALICE, which stands for Asset-Limited, Income Constrained, Employed and refers to people who are working, sometimes having several jobs, but aren’t quite making it. In our community, this includes another 33% of people who live above the poverty line.

Poverty is a condition in which one’s income is less than sufficient to purchase basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. The cost of living varies dramatically from place to place. The cost of living in New York City is very different from Melfa – so income needed varies. Poverty can be defined as a chronic and debilitating condition that results from multiple adverse factors that affect the pocketbook as well as the mind, body and soul. Six types of poverty have been defined:

  1. Situational poverty is caused by a sudden crisis or loss and is often temporary. Events causing situational poverty include environmental disasters, divorce, or severe health problems.
  2. Generational poverty occurs in families where at least two generations have been born into poverty. Families living in this type of poverty are not equipped with the tools to move out of their situations.
  3. Absolute poverty, which is rare in the United States, involves a scarcity of such necessities as shelter, running water, and food. Families who live in absolute poverty tend to focus on day-to-day survival.
  4. Relative poverty refers to the economic status of a family whose income is insufficient to meet its society’s average standard of living.
  5. Urban poverty occurs in metropolitan areas with populations of at least 50,000 people. The urban poor deal with a complex aggregate of chronic and acute stressors (including crowding, violence, and noise) and are dependent on often-inadequate large-city services.
  6. Rural poverty occurs in nonmetropolitan areas with populations below 50,000. In rural areas, there are more single-guardian households, and families often have less access to services, support for disabilities, and quality education opportunities. Programs to encourage transition from welfare to work are problematic in remote rural areas, where job opportunities are few (Whitener, Gibbs, & Kusmin, 21003).