At United Nations Pope Francis Speaks For Global Poor Including New York City's Two Million

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Pope Francis

[Commentary]

We are heartened that Pope Francis has shed light on the prevalence of poverty across the globe in his remarks to the United Nations’ General Assembly.

Almost anywhere you go, you only need to look around to see that poverty rages rampant in our city, country and world. Sadly, in 2015 — 203 years since our founding — our work is now more critical than ever.

Consider that more than two out of every five people living in New York City live in poverty. That is nearly two million men, women and children, many of them without homes or food to put on the table. If you factor in all of those living just barely above the poverty line, the number rises to nearly half of our city’s population.

Those who we serve sadly are at the bottom of the economic ladder: 5% live in shelters or transitional housing; 55% have food insecurities; 86% live at or below the poverty line; and, 93% of our students attend failing or below average schools.

These numbers illustrate the harsh realities that derail, for so many, the American Dream. Each day, our staff faces the children, families, friends, and neighbors who have had their dreams derailed, and sometimes extinguished.

We echo Pope Francis in our staunch belief that all deserve to live in dignity, and that we can – and should - make a difference in others’ lives. We strive to level the playing field by providing the highest quality educational programs and support that inspire and empower the youth in our programs.

At times, it may seem like an uphill battle. But the good news is that we, like many others, will not settle.

The Mission Society resolves to address these problems over the long-term, because no matter the month, year, or century, poverty breaks hearts and strangles dreams.

 

Elsie McCabe Thompson is President of the New York City Mission Society

The New York City Mission Society has been on the frontlines of the war on poverty for more than 200 years.

www.nycmissionsociety.org 

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