Investments and outcomes - How are we doing?
So many dollars and so much well-intentioned effort invested every year in Milwaukee. How are we doing?
In 1969, 11 % of Milwaukee’s population lived in poverty. Today, the number is 29%, versus a national average of 14.8%. For those under 18 in our city, the number is 42%. A number of factors have played into the fact that poverty is getting worse, rather than better. Perhaps there are justifications, or rationals, why Milwaukee is doing worse than the national averages? Who wants to hear them? We are the Nations 6th most impoverished city.
At Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, we the most comprehensive array of education, health, and social services to residents on Milwaukee’s Northwest side. We feed the hungry; we are a safe place, we work with family members of all ages. If fewer of our teens get pregnant if more go to classes, does it change our neighborhood over time? Very good things, but It seems not. How does a neighborhood change if at 18, many of our youth cannot continue with their education nor compete for a life-sustaining wage? The problems of Milwaukee’s inner city education are well documented, what is not as well documented, is what this means to our youth and the cycle of poverty.
The most important work we are doing is with our partners Carmen High School, MPS, and Rocketship Transformation Prep. We are building a successful educational pathway, so the youth in our neighborhood have the options to continue their education and compete for life-sustaining work.
If we want to make real progress on reducing poverty in our city, we need people who live in neighborhoods, like Silver Spring Neighborhood Center's, to participate and lead in that success. The choices made by our teens, the opportunities for our teens, matter now and in the future.