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Summit On Poverty Analyzes Factors That Cause Economic Disparity In Houston

The University of Saint Thomas hosted the second edition of the event, which is organized by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

 

Willie Bennett (left), senior organizer for The Metropolitan Organization, and Father Christopher Plant (right), Pastor at Houston's Resurrection Catholic Community, led a presentation in which they analyzed factors that cause economic disparities in our city.
Willie Bennett (left), senior organizer for The Metropolitan Organization, and Father Christopher Plant (right), Pastor at Houston’s Resurrection Catholic Community, led a presentation in which they analyzed factors that cause economic disparity in our city. (Photo: Al Ortiz)

The University of Saint Thomas hosted a summit on poverty to analyze economic disparity in Houston.

Local social work and health organizations gathered for the second-annual Summit on Poverty, which was organized by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Some of the participants discussed information which is not talked about that frequently in Houston.

For instance, the richest 5 percent of households earn nearly 12 times more than the poorest 20 percent, according to data presented by Willie Bennett, a senior organizer with The Metropolitan Organization.

Bennett doesn’t question that Houston is a city of opportunity, but he stressed it also has its share of economic segregation.

“You have a wide variety of neighborhoods –lower income skilled– average income of $21,000 versus Braeswood, with a medium income of over $135,000 a year,” said Bennett in an interview with Houston Public Media after his presentation.

Father Christopher Plant, who is the pastor at the Resurrection Catholic Community, suggested changing how we evaluate if the economy is in good health.

“The first question we should ask is how are our poor, are they getting their needs met? And then, after that, we begin to look at GDP, and stock market, and all the other valid indicators of the economy,” Father Plant noted.

Some of the measures presented to fight poverty were offering better educational opportunities and developing more training programs for jobs in high-demand fields.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

General Assignment Reporter

Alvaro 'Al' Ortiz is originally from Spain. He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast news and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master's degree...

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