After much discussion at town halls and events across the state, community action leaders arrived at six key recommendations that pave the way to solving challenges in healthcare, education, transportation, employment and housing in North Carolina.
North Carolina needs to invest in a short- and long-term poverty alleviation plan which is community- driven, results-oriented, comprehensive, and partnership-oriented.
The N.C. General Assembly should create a bi-partisan North Carolina Poverty Eradication Council to ensure state funds are used strategically and collaboratively in local communities who engage in innovative poverty alleviation strategies.
A Public Benefit Fund is needed to provide energy efficient measures to help relieve the burden of high energy costs experienced by low-income families.
The state’s network of 36 community action agencies and five limited purpose agencies should be included in the state’s general fund. For every dollar that the state invests in local communities through this network, it can anticipate a return on investment of $16.90.
Community Service Block Grant and Weatherization Assistance Program dollars need to be managed under one administrative unit and given more flexibility, similar to peer states, to address the complex needs impacting North Carolina’s citizens.
The Community Services Block Grant program should be housed in a state department where job training, job creation and entrepreneurship are valued.