Dec. 11 event to look at poverty in Putnam County

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Poverty, defined as an inability to meet basic needs because food, clean drinking water, proper sanitation, education, utilities, healthcare and other social services are inaccessible, is a very real issue in this country with approximately 40 million Americans living in poverty.

The next Community Conversation: Poverty in Our Hometown will look at how poverty specifically impacts the Greencastle and Putnam County area. This Community Conversation will take place at Greencastle City Hall on Wednesday, Dec 11 at 7 p.m.

The current poverty rate in Indiana alone is 13.5 percent as of 2018, 9.7 percent here in Putnam County (Talk Poverty). There are still a lot of dimensions and misconceptions to poverty that this conversation will tackle. What is the community doing to help? What still needs to be done?  What government resources should be allocated toward providing assistance?  

Providing perspectives on this important issue will be Adam Cohen, Greencastle City Council; Travis Linneweber, Beyond Homeless; Lori Miller, Transformers; Heather Weaver and Alicia Shamel, Circles USA; and Katherine Asbell, Greencastle Community Schools.

Cohen is the current president of the Greencastle City Council and was recently elected to his fourth term. As a youth baseball coach, president of Babe Ruth baseball and then president of Big Walnut Sports Park he saw firsthand the effect of poverty on our children. As a member of the City Council he has continually expressed concern and support for agencies providing assistance to those in need.

Linneweber is the president of the board of Beyond Homeless which responds to the needs of the homeless and works to prevent homelessness in our community by providing emergency assistance and equipping people with the life and work skills needed for financial stability and self-sufficiency.

Transformers seeks to reduce poverty in Putnam County by empowering people to self-sufficiency. Circles USA is one of Transformers’ programs that focuses on adults and families who are struggling and supports them as they move to thriving. Lori Miller is the circles coordinator in Putnam County.

Heather Weaver is a circle leader since 2017 who earned her associate’s degree in social work from Ivy Tech in 2018. She has worked for PCCS for 2-1/2 years and recently took a new position with the organization. Her goal is to give back to others and the community in the way she has been blessed.

Shamel’s goal in life is to become a published author and she has recently started working as news director for WREB radio, announcing the news, posting press releases, writing articles on local events. She is a circle leader since 2016 who bought her first home in 2018.

Asbell is in her 27th year of public education. She has served as an elementary teacher, middle school science teacher, school counselor and building administrator. Her current role is as assistant principal at Tzouanakis Intermediate School.

The Community Conversation Series is sponsored by the Greencastle League of Women Voters, the Putnam County Public Library and the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce. The goal of this continuing program is to provide the public an opportunity to discuss topics of importance to our community.

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  • Thanks to Leslie Hanson and the League of Women Voters for organizing this event!

    -- Posted by tlinnewe on Thu, Dec 5, 2019, at 4:10 PM
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