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Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina releases comprehensive poverty study

Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina releases comprehensive poverty study

Poverty in South Carolina ranks among the highest in the United States. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina works to address the root causes of poverty and its effects in South Carolina “through action, advocacy, and leadership.” The foundation has released a comprehensive report about poverty in South Carolina. Titled South Carolina: Structural Factors Associated with Poverty, the report presents findings from research that quantitatively assesses the factors that contribute to poverty throughout the state.

In 2020, as an outcome of the foundation’s strategic plan, staff members partnered with the Rural & Minority Health Research Center at the University of South Carolina to conduct the research. The explicit goal of the research was “to identify, acknowledge, and examine the systemic and policy factors that lead to, reinforce, and exacerbate poverty specifically for residents of South Carolina.”

The research utilized a structuralist approach, focusing on factors that are outside individual control or are at an institutional, community or public policy level. Investigating these factors with a specific lens towards their contributions to poverty may broaden and deepen the understanding of the needs of people in society.

To access the full report, click here: South Carolina Structural Factors Associated with Poverty Research Brief November 2020

To access the summary report, click here: SC Poverty Study Summary

WCIV | ABC News 4 shared the news about this important study. Following are excerpts from the News 4 story. The full story is available here: Report: South Carolina poverty rate ranks among highest in nation

The report found that poverty in South Carolina ranks among the highest in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018, about 16% of South Carolinians experienced poverty, compared to a national average of around 14%.

When talking about eviction rates, it only gets worse.

The data pulled shows 80% of the state's counties are at or above the national average for evictions.

The report says North Charleston has the highest eviction rate in the whole state. 16.5% of people were evicted from their homes in 2016.

That year as well, the state had the highest eviction rate in the nation at nearly 9%.

The purpose of the study is to help find a solution.

"Make sure the community is a part of that discussion that we are collaborating across sectors and that we’re not just depending on one," said Chynna A. Phillips, the Director of Research and Policy at Sisters of Charity Foundation. "We’re not just depending on the government to do something or the non-profits, but really looking to each other and saying I have a piece to play or a role to play in figuring this out."

"Step one is what we’re trying to do with this report – create awareness, let people know that there are these issues that are affecting people again and kind of across economic groups," said Dr. Melinda Merrell, a Professor over at the University of South Carolina. "We need to have some serious conversations about how we moved forward together as a state to really address these issues."

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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