The issues that surround poverty and justice are complex and CLP strives to bring awareness, action and advocacy to congregations and communities of the region.

CLP supports the following efforts:
• Just-Neighbors training
• Home rehab crews to areas of need
• Agency networking in community response
• Partnering with local agencies to strengthen community outreach efforts

 Hard working middle-class folks like us (and like most Lutherans) don’t really like to hear about issues of rampant poverty and a social system that adds to the problems. But perhaps we need to listen for a bit.

 We need to know that 25 years ago, the minimum wage would ensure that a family of 3 could stay above the poverty level. Today it requires a minimum wage of $6.80 for that family to reach the poverty level. And 25% of people living in poverty make less than $9.00 per hour.

 We need to know that one in eight American children has no health insurance, but that for 14 cents a day from every American we could insure all the 9.2 children who now are without health coverage.
Do the math: That’s only $51 per year.

 We need to know that working families with children are the fastest growing group of households with worst case housing needs.”

 We need to know that in order to afford fair-market rent for a 2 bedroom rental in many areas of the nation, a minimum wage worker would have to work 119 hours a week. That’s more than 17 hours a day, seven days a week.

 As a congregation and as a community in Appalachia we can

  • Join mentoring programs
  • Work to sign up community children for CHIPs
  • Support ELCA World Hunger efforts
  • Build community networks to provide support for families in need
  • Provide community awareness of these issues and encourage others to listen and to learn

 Together we can make a difference. The West Virginia Western Maryland Synod is taking steps in the direction of addressing hunger and poverty issues in our region of Appalachia.

 These people are our neighbors…. And we can be “Just Neighbors” with them.

 The “Just Neighbors” program was brought to the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod through the efforts of the Committee for Church in Society with financial help from Community Lutheran Partners, Inc.

Did you know that in West Virginia...

  • 23.7% of the population under age 19 live in poverty.
  • 18% of the general population live in poverty.
  • 5th poorest state in the nation.
  • 24.1% of the population is eligible for food stamps.
  • 13.7 of the population actually receive food stamps.
  • Average per capita income is $20,888.
  • 38% of the children live in a home where no parent has full time, year round employment.
  • Since 2000, there have been 11 federally declared disasters, with 8 focused in the southern mountain region.
  • 70% of households earning less than $15,000 do not own a computer.
  • Ranks 45th in percentage of households with a computer.
  • Ranks 45th in percentage of households with Internet access. 
  • 25% of 4th graders and 37% of 8th graders score below the basic level that is expected in their grade.
  • 11% of teens do not attend school and do not work. National average is 9%
  • Residents aged 20-24 have an unemployment rate of 9.2% The state unemployment rate
    is 5.3%.
  • 15.3% of the population is 65 and older. The national average is 12.4%.

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Community Lutheran Partners, Inc. P.O. Box 3054 Wheeling, WV 26003 (304)312-4222