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Bridges out of Poverty hopes to help economic inequality in Houghton

To help, the teams are taking a unique look at the community.
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Treasure Mckenzie believes that community poverty has many impacts and there are several ways to help those struggling in its grip.

“We have a Bridges out of Poverty Community in Muskogee Oklahoma,” said Mckenzie. “We’re hoping to come here and share this information with these communities – and they can do the same thing we’re doing.”

Working closely with the Portage Health Foundation, Bridges out of Poverty wants to change the way people think about poverty. That way, they can know where and how to address it.

“What we have found is that through all the things we are working through, whether it be substance use disorders, food insecurity, youth trauma and resiliency,” said Portage Health Foundation Executive Director Kevin Store.

“[Out of] all the major issues that we’re working through at the foundation,” added Store. “Poverty is one of those things that is a common thread through all those different health risk factors that exist.”

“There are people who are underresourced in many areas,” said Mckenzie. “It’s not just about not having any money, it’s about having a lack of resources. So, knowing what your resources are and knowing how to navigate those situations helps everyone,” said Mckenzie.

Bridges out of Poverty works directly with people from all economic levels. It incorporates local businesses as well to figure out how an entire community can attempt to come together to create more economic equality.

“To come together, have a better understanding, a universal understanding of what poverty is,” said Store. “Why it exists, how it perpetuates itself. But, more importantly, how can we come together as a multisector community to address the things that allow poverty to continue in our community?”

Because in the end – when everyone helps each other, everyone benefits.

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