Dr. Michael Omidi and his brother Julian Omidi, co-founders of No More Poverty, react to new demographic studies by the Urban Institute Research Center which display the changing face of poverty in the United States. It is estimated that there has been a 64 percent increase in poverty in areas outside major metropolitan cities in the last two decades.
The Urban Institute Center for Research recently released a series of maps charting the progression of poverty in the United States since 1980. Using census data for all of the country’s large metropolitan areas, the maps illustrate that poverty is spreading everywhere — up 29 percent in America’s cities and an astonishing 64 percent in the suburbs. The results debunk the myth of the wealthy, all American suburban, family life as they reveal far greater pockets of impoverished Americans living outside our cities than ever before.
Dr. Michael Omidi, co-founder of the charity No More Poverty, says “We now see that our underserved communities are spread out beyond the large urban centers, where the cost of living has become so oppressively high that only the rich can afford to live in even the most modest neighborhoods.”
Today, more poor people can be found in the suburbs (16.4 million) versus the cities (13.4 million). This is the conclusion of a compilation of census information from 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010, along with American Community Survey data from the same years. The maps provide strong indications of where anti-poverty services should be centered in order to have the greatest impact and reach the most needful people.
“Suburban centers do not have the same access to job opportunities and outreach services that large cities do,” says Julian Omidi, co-founder of No More Poverty. “Suburban areas, by in large, do not have efficient public transportation systems that can carry residents to the city centers where there are the most economic opportunities. By acknowledging the new statistics, hopefully community services will spread to areas that now have the most need.”
This new research and national trend is examined in two recent articles within the Atlantic Cities (http://www.theatlanticcities.com), an online publication that explores the most innovative ideas and pressing issues facing today’s global cities and neighborhoods.
No More Poverty (http://www.nmp.org) is a not-for-profit charity organization (with a pending 501(c)3 application) founded by brothers Dr. Michael Omidi and Julian Omidi. The organization seeks to end poverty at home and abroad by supporting the efforts of like-minded charities and agencies. Current efforts are focused on increasing awareness of and donations to charities already doing great work to address poverty and its staggering effects throughout the world. The plan is to expand our activities to include fostering business development and job creation in disenfranchised areas.
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