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“Gateways Out of Poverty” Initiative

April 29, 2014
HARRISBURG – The House Republican Policy Committee today released a report entitled “Beyond Poverty” as part of its statewide initiative, “Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty.” Members of the committee include state Reps. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) and Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield).

“Poverty is often regarded as a big city problem,” Gabler said. “Folks in Clearfield and Elk counties would strongly disagree. Making that mistake is one of the reasons we have been stuck for so long simply talking about the problem and not actively seeking solutions.”

The report listed specific targets the committee will focus on and attempt to produce specific legislative proposals to address.

“We will be looking at programs that may have been successful but discontinued due to lack of significant participation,” Sankey said. “In many cases, it’s as relatively simple as empowering someone with basic life skills, such as handling their finances, or helping them acquire access to basic needs, such as access to food, water and clothing.

“Many people need to experience the pride that comes with ‘learning to fish’ as opposed to the expectation of being handed a ‘fish’.”

Gabler said this report allows lawmakers to address the shortcomings of programs that no longer work, and provides a blueprint for new initiatives designed to lift people from the cycle of financial distress.

“How can we start making a real difference in peoples’ lives? Let’s start talking about financial literacy. Let’s start talking about benefit programs that just don’t work. One of the things that this report focuses on is the need to constantly review programs. “Gabler said. “What worked in 1964 doesn’t necessarily work in 2014, but if you continually look and see what’s working and revise things as times change, you can get better results. And that’s going to result in a true restoration of the ‘American Dream’ for many people. It’s a great thing and I’m glad to be part of it.”           

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