Mayor Skip Henderson says it’s time to attack poverty in Columbus

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 5:43 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - “We’re over 20 percent poverty rate in Columbus. That’s too high,” says Mayor Skip Henderson. Mayor Skip Henderson says that number needs to come down in our city, and he has the plan to get it done.

“If you ask anybody in any city and they what they really want to address, they want to raise the opportunities for their community,” says Mayor Skip Henderson. He says those opportunities come with quality programming through organizations like United Way through 211. “This year has been our largest call volume, between website visitors, chats and calls, we have helped out 26,000 people,” says Candace Muncy, Manager 211 Impact.

The home for good organization counts the homeless population every year, and they say once programs are available, it is time to make sure people not only get a home, but they stay in a home. “It’s not just about a key to a house, it’s so you can get the house and keep the house, and wrap-around services that help with those types of things,” says Pat Frey, Vice President United Way, Home for Good.

But the mayor says seeing a change could take time. “Ending that generational poverty is a really long term, but we can see some immediate benefits if we pull together some of these resources,” says Mayor Henderson. He says the goal of decreasing poverty rates by 50 percent, set by United Way, is a large number that can be tackled with the aid of grants and other funding. “There’s a lot of grant money that’s available certain, areas, working to try to give people an opportunity can take a lot of shapes,” says Henderson.