Poverty Task Force works to improve community health - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Poverty Task Force works to improve community health

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- A local group is finalizing its plans to reduce poverty in Comanche County. It's a goal the poverty task force has been working on since the summer when residents voted poverty as one of the top five health concerns in the area.

The task force consists of more than 20 individuals from different organizations including the Comanche County Health Department and the Salvation Army. Corps officer Claudia Roseno says everyone is here because they want to see Lawton become better.

"If we address these symptoms of poverty then we can have Lawton grow and become a better Lawton. The one that we dream of, the one that we want our children to stay and live at and work at," said Roseno.

She says alleviating poverty isn't something anyone can do alone but with this group she believes they can make a difference by working together.

"They want to see Lawton become a place that people don't leave but people come into Lawton to grow here and live here and work here," Roseno explained.

Capt. Roseno says 29% of children in Comanche County are living in poverty which is higher than the states 23%.

"Poverty effects us in so many ways. We see the effects of poverty through violence, through drugs and alcohol abuse. We see it through families who...the brokenness of families and homelessness," Roseno said.

She says the task force has set several goals to tackle these issues.

They plan to:
-Continue to coordinate strategies
-Implement and grow Bridges out of Poverty program
-Enlarge their Getting Ahead classes within Comanche County
-Provide training for life skills, career counseling, and job training
-Reduce institutional barriers to employment
-Develop more neighborhood watch/pride
-Build and expand housing options
-And finally Educate potential homeowners on community resources

The task force plans on meeting again in January to see the progress they've made.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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