NJSJR Position Statement on Reduction of Poverty

If there is among you a poor man, one of your brethren, in any of your towns within your land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him, and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-8)

NJSJR believes it is the fundamental responsibility of both our federal and local governments, supported by the private sector and our citizens, to fund social programs that will result in a significant reduction in poverty.

Locally, poverty is at a critical stage.  According to Metro Social Services, we reached an all-time high last year with one in five Davidson County residents (approximately 130,000) living in poverty. Davidson County’s poverty rate of 19.9 percent was higher than that for Tennessee and the United States.  Local requests for food assistance increase every year.  There is a long wait for placement in Section 8 Housing (federal rent subsidized private housing units)  (14,491) with an additional 3,189 on the waiting list for government-built public housing (for very low income and disabled individuals).

We believe poverty must be addressed and reduced nationally and locally through a broad range of policies and programs that focus on:

• The availability of reasonably affordable housing
• Food insecurity and availability,
• Workforce development and opportunity
• Criminal justice disparities
• Education improvement and opportunity
• Fair wages, and
• Access to healthcare.