Partnerships urged at Worcester forum on battling poverty

WORCESTER — The Worcester Community Action Council held its annual Poverty Forum, “Driving Solutions in Partnership,” Thursday at the Hanover Theatre, with a call to action from Marybeth Campbell, executive director.

“Many of us in this room are nonprofits across health, human services, housing, transportation, child care. And we probably share a lot of the same clients,” Campbell said. “How do we identify who those shared clients are and figure how do we triage and help support those clients together beyond our one-off programs and services but really look at that continuum,” said Campbell, who served as moderator for the event.

Gina Plata-Nino, staff attorney, at the Central West Justice Center of Community Legal Aid, Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College; Laurie Ross, associate dean of the faculty and director of Clark University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning; and Ken Bates, president and CEO Open Sky Community Services, participated in a panel discussion on poverty.

Society teaches people in poverty that “being poor is the worst thing they could be in America, because you must have done something wrong,” Plata-Nino said. “And I see that from my clients constantly … Wait a minute. You are working two jobs. It’s not your fault.”… Read more in the Worcester Telegram.