Poverty & Homelessness
The Poverty & Homelessness spoke connects the current efforts around the state who work on initiatives, programs, policies, and strategies that focus on poverty, homelessness, and other related challenges with an eye toward the impacts of girls and women. This spoke focuses on working together in our communities to solve poverty by providing resources, helping people rebuild their lives, and assisting women to stabilize the crises in their lives. In terms of homelessness, the goal is to ensure that it is rare, brief, and non-recurring. The vision is that everyone has access to safe, decent, affordable housing with the needed resources and supports for self-sufficiency and well-being. Although spoke leaders, affiliates, and participants work on these challenges for all genders, they will be increasing conversations, gathering data, and considering solutions by gender. To learn more, listen to the spoke leaders discuss the work on this 15-minute podcast.
CEO, Community Action
Karen McCandless is the CEO of Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo, Utah. Her current position, as well as being a former elected city council member and land use planner, fuel her passion to advocate for and work toward thriving communities.
Program Manager, Homeless Services
Peggy Green is a program manager for the Utah Office of Homeless Services. Prior to this role, she was the Executive Director for Iron County Care and Share and before that was the Marketing and Recruiting Director for the Southwest Technical College.
Bold Vision & Goals
To make Utah a place where more girls and women can thrive, the Poverty & Homelessness spoke leaders and partners have crafted the vision and goals below. Spoke leadership and UWLP team members are currently working to collect baseline data that will assist in adding numbers to the changes we want to see by 2026 and 2030.Vision: Eliminate poverty and homelessness from Utah.
- Reduce poverty by 10% by 2030 [Metric]
- Implement policies that facilitate staged disqualifications from public assistance to mitigate the ‘cliff effect’. [Metric: Circles USA]
- Decrease the number of cost-burdened families. [Metric]
- Increase the availability of affordable and “deeply affordable” housing for low-income families in Utah. [Metric]
- Decrease the percentage of Utahns that believe poverty is purely a result of individual agency. [Data Forthcoming]
- Decrease the percentage of Utahns that believe homelessness is purely a result of individual agency. [Data Forthcoming]
- Increase the percentage of Utahns that believe they have personal responsibility around preventing poverty and homelessness in Utah. [Data Forthcoming]
- Increase the percentage of Utahns that believe housing is the first step toward thriving families. [Data Forthcoming]
Get Engaged: Ways to get engaged include assisting in collecting data that presents a clear narrative of the root causes of poverty, hunger, and homelessness in Utah; utilizing your personal and professional networks to elevate the voices of those in or at risk of crisis; and engaging with the Poverty and Homelessness spoke of A Bolder Way Forward to create strong, effective, and inclusive change. Thank you for your interest!