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October 31, 2014

HALLOWEEN ISN’T THE ONLY THING SCARY IN PALM BEACH COUNTY

by PBUnitedWay

I love a good scare.   I love vampires, zombies and Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds.  But as scary as those things may seem there is something more frightening. 

In Palm Beach County, about 22.7% of all children live in poverty (or below the federally defined poverty threshold) and 33.2% of all Palm Beach County residents live in a low-income household (or 200 percent of the poverty threshold).   In cities like Belle Glade, Pahokee and Westgate, the numbers are even more startling.   41.7% of all the children in Belle Glade live in poverty and 63.4% of all people in Belle Glade live in low-income households.

For a growing number of Palm Beach County households, the struggle to survive has become a way of life.  Everyday these families need to make tough choices such as deciding between childcare and paying the rent.   They are simply unable to afford the state’s high cost of living.   These households represent men and women of all ages and races who in many cases are working, but unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, childcare, health care and transportation.

So what does this mean for our children?   It means they are less likely to succeed in school, they are more likely to suffer from health problems and they are more likely to end up in jail.

And what does that mean for Palm Beach County and our country?  It means a less skilled, less competitive workforce; higher health care costs; and higher correctional institution costs.

This is not someone else’s problem.   This is not happening somewhere else.   It’s in our own backyard.

This is why the Town of Palm Beach United Way partners with 52 agencies in our community to support 96 programs that serve a broad range of populations and issues.

Every year, we invest millions of dollars from individuals and corporations to improve lives and strengthen health and human services in our community.    Partner agencies open their programs and budgets to intense review by our Allocation Committee volunteers and United Way staff.   Targeted program outcomes and results drive our funding decisions and are critical to understanding how your investment is improving people’s lives.

Together, our partner agenices, investors like you, allocation volunteers and the Town of Palm Beach United Way work as a team to provide education, supportive crisis and preventative programs in our community.

To see a complete list of the programs in Palm Beach County currently funded by the Town of Palm Beach United Way, visit our website.

About the Town of Palm Beach United Way

Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has invested more than $60 million into Palm Beach County because of generous donors who live or work on the island of Palm Beach.  We advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three building blocks of education, health and income.  The Town of Palm Beach United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.  LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change.  For more information, call us at 561.655.1919 or visit www.palmbeachunitedway.org.

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