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Alleviating poverty: New approaches for Michigan and beyond

Contact: Kristen Kerecman, 734-604-2891,


Alleviating poverty: New approaches for Michigan and beyond

DATE: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018

EVENT: Poverty expert, professor and author H. Luke Shaefer will discuss the steps the University of Michigan is taking to prevent and alleviate poverty in Michigan and beyond through the Poverty Solutions initiative.

In the past four years, the percentage of Michigan residents living below the poverty line has dropped from 17.4 percent to 14.9 percent, and child poverty dropped four percentage points over the same period.

There are more Michiganders employed now than in 2012, and the median household income has been on the rise. Shaefer says these are positive trends, but Michigan still remains in the bottom half of all states (33rd) when it comes to families living in poverty.

And extreme poverty in Michigan and the nation—those living on cash incomes below $2 per person, per day—has risen sharply over the past few decades. Michigan residents are carrying high levels of debt, struggling to pay for housing and reducing their chances at upward mobility, Shaefer says.

Shaefer will discuss options for providing access to the right work opportunities and support for families, as well as what’s working and what’s not.

Poverty Solutions at U-M is examining these challenges from a variety of disciplines and testing the most promising solutions through research interventions in partnership with community and policymakers.

Shaefer will outline current and future projects that have the potential to deliver concrete results for Michigan’s poor—through expanding economic opportunity, reducing educational disparities and addressing the health consequences of poverty.

PLACE: Michigan Senate Binsfeld Office Building, 5th Floor, Room 5550, 201 Townsend St., Lansing, Mich. Parking available at Ellis Parking Ramp, located at 231 S. Capitol Ave., corner of Allegan St., next to the Binsfeld Building.

As with most government and legislative buildings in the Capitol Complex, guests are encouraged to bring photo ID for security purposes and will be provided a guest pass to attend theWolverine Caucus forum upon entering the Binsfeld Office Building.

INFORMATION: The event is free and open to the public. RSVP to Angela McCullum, or 517-372-7801.

SPONSORS: U-M Office of Government Relations, U-M Alumni Association

H. Luke Shaefer