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Empower Missouri started over 100 years ago as an annual conference, making the job of planning and executing our annual Anti-Poverty Summit even more significant. Ask any nonprofit staff and they’ll tell you that conference execution is no joke. I have to uplift our team and give them a round of applause: 2022’s return to...
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In 2018, I read Peter Temin’s book The Vanishing Middle Class. He got a lot of press coverage when the book was released, in large part because of his thesis that households who are working to escape poverty really need about 20 years without catastrophe. He theorized that on an individual level, it is sometimes...
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At Empower Missouri, we know that we can change lives through effective and targeted policy change. Too many of our neighbors struggle to get their everyday needs met. Housing insecurity, hunger, over policing, historical exclusion: these negative outcomes we see today are a result of intentional, targeted, often racist policy decisions made generations ago. We...
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While the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in financial instability and economic hardship for many households, unprecedented supports – including a national emergency rental assistance program and eviction moratorium – were enacted to reduce suffering among the country’s lowest-income renters. As these temporary supports come to an end, renters are facing a troubling landscape, with rising rental...
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In many ways, housing advocacy should be easy. Everyone needs housing to thrive, therefore it should be as easily attainable as possible. However in reality, many topics get mixed in and make the conversation much more complicated. Deeply ingrained systemic racism, generational wealth, market volatility impacting rental and purchase prices, and low wages create an...
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We knew going into the legislative session that it would be a wild year. Unfortunately, wild years where very little gets done has become the normal legislative process in Missouri. It wasn’t designed to be this way. However, partisan infighting, electoral maps designed to favor one party, distrust in government and an overall breakdown in...
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The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s newly released report, The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes, documents a shortage of 7 million affordable and available rental homes for our nation’s lowest-income renters, who make up one quarter of all renters in the U.S. This severe shortage forces 71% of our poorest families – seniors, people...
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First coined by sociologist Ruth Glass in the 1960s, gentrification has been part of the lexicon for those working in both economics and the affordable housing sector. Gentrification as an idea has changed over the years. For Glass it was the process wherein middle-class workers moved into the working-class neighborhoods of London, resulting in the...
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This past week Empower Missouri held its Annual Week of Action. In addition to 3 virtual days, this year we were able to be back in the Capitol for the first time in over 2 years! It was so good to be back.  On each of our virtual days attendees were able to learn about...
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Last week, I offered testimony against a pair of bills in the Missouri House and Senate aimed at reducing homelessness. I first celebrated with the sponsors and the committee members that the Missouri legislature should be doing more to address our neighbors who live outside; homelessness is an untenable situation that is below the dignity...
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