Alexandria, Virginia (January 20, 2015) – Responding to the President’s annual State of the Union address, Catholic Charities USA welcomes the discussion of new ideas to help people achieve their full potential, but encourages greater discussion on how our country can more effectively address the plight of the 45 million individuals living at or below the poverty line in America.
“For those living in poverty, the State of our Union leaves them struggling to get by,” said Rev. Larry Snyder, President of CCUSA, which represents a national network of faith-based social service providers who supported over 9 million individuals last year. “We urge the President and both chambers of Congress to bring their best ideas to the table about building a nation that enables everyone to achieve their full potential.”
“While we often hear about the need to support the middle-class, it’s important to remember that there are millions of individuals and families who are still seeking to escape the cycle of poverty in America,” said Snyder. “The percentage of individuals and families living at or below the federal poverty line remains roughly where it was when our nation’s War on Poverty was launched more than 50 years ago.
“Proposing bold ideas, like the President’s proposals to enable all students to attend two years of community college, to expand paid leave to working parents, and to make home ownership more accessible and sustainable, is what is needed to break up the status quo that leaves so many on the sidelines. People of good will can have disagreements about the strategies to achieve a future without poverty, but what we cannot do is let divided government or differences of opinion prevent us from working together to strengthen pathways out of poverty for those in need.”
In its work to reduce poverty, CCUSA’s theory of change is based on the four principles of Catholic Social Teaching found in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church: Respect for human dignity, the common good, solidarity, and subsidarity. Additionally, CCUSA looks at all policy proposals through the pillars of its Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America: Hunger, health care, housing, education and workforce development, and family economic security.