Week 28: Be part of the WQED Think! live town hall on poverty in Western Pa.

Flyer for the Think! Poverty in Western Pa. Town Hall live broadcast on WQED, Dec. 7, 2017Shalisa Walls (video below) is a veteran with a college degree who had a 20-year career, a fiancee, and a bright future… until it all came crashing down. Now she’s trying to rebuild her life with the help of local organizations.

There are tens of thousands of people like Shalisa in Western Pa. who are living in quiet desperation. We have to do better by them – and know that “they” could be any one of us.

Our communities need more honest discussions of the real causes poverty and what helps people climb out. We also need to talk about what it will take to build a movement to end needless poverty and hardship once and for all.

You can be part of that critical public discussion this week!

For the past few months Just Harvest and a dozen local social service organizations have been participating in an Art of Democracy and WQED Think! initiative on poverty. Through conversations with each other and the public we’ve been taking a fresh look at the issue and how we can work better together to address poverty here in Western Pa.

The next step in these conversations will be a WQED live town hall broadcast this Thursday, and we want you to be a part of it. Just Harvest’s executive director Ken Regal will join the executives of Community Human Services, Homeless Children’s Education Fund, Veterans Leadership Program of Western PA, Free Store 15104, and Blueprints to lead this community discussion. Please join them.


orange arrow Register to be in the audience
Audience members should arrive for the live broadcast at 7:15 pm Thursday at the Fred Rogers Studio in WQED Pittsburgh at 4802 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh 15213. There will be an opportunity for audience members to be part of the conversation. Free parking in the WQED lot will be available or here are the PAT buses that serve Oakland.

orange arrow Can’t make it to the broadcast? Be sure to tune in! The broadcast will air live on WQED and WQED.org at 8:00 pm Thursday.

orange arrow Help spread the word about this event on Facebook

orange arrow Share the stories of people facing poverty, like Shalisa Walls (below and at wqed.org/think/online-forum)

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One Response to Week 28: Be part of the WQED Think! live town hall on poverty in Western Pa.

  1. Avatar
    Heidi Leytrick January 25, 2018 at 3:25 am #

    Finally! I finally found an organization who honestly cares. I am a single mom of six children. My story is long and riddled with just about everything that can go wrong to a single parent, poor family. Together we have been through so much. Adversity has only made us stronger. I am so proud of my children. They are 6 of the most amazing human beings you will ever meet. Just when I feel like I have let them down, they love me even more. Things today are financially worse than they have been…ever. I am in nursing school full time, trying to ensure that we will never have to live like this again. It is harder than I ever imagined. I am trying so hard to get finished with school, to be a good student and run my home and family the best way I know how but nothing is going right. Why, when everyone and everything is telling me that I am doing the right thing, is everything getting harder?? We can’t afford running water. We had pipes burst during freezing temps. Our water was shut off after Christmas for nonpayment. Do I stop school?? I am only doing what everyone in our society says I SHOULD be doing… trying to make our lives better. But our society does not have help for moms trying to do that! I have always worked full time, paid my own way, never asked family or friends for money. We are losing our home of 16 years. How in the world is this ever going to get better?? I look to God sometimes and just ask, WHAT is it you are trying to tell me??? Well, I am happy to have found a group of folks talking about the same things that scare me. Why is it that (even on food stamps), my 12 yr old daughter struggles to lose weight and stay on a nutrition plan for type 2 diabetes because it is just too expensive to eat healthy? Politicians want the poor to stay poor, unhealthy, overweight, oh and toothless. I saw my dentist last week for a tooth needing a root canal. My only option however is an extraction with med assistance. Root canals are not covered BUT EXTRACTIONS ARE!! So now we are unhealthy and without teeth?! I dont understand our society….So sorry to rant, just needed to speak out. Thank you for listening.

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