"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice."
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Communities work to break cycle of rural poverty
"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life." —Nelson Mandela
White text in a green circle that reads: NeighborWorks distributed more than $39 million in grants to network members in our Rural Initiative
Persistent poverty is an enduring problem in rural areas of the United States, which account for approximately 20 percent of the nation's population. Geographic isolation, disinvestment, and lack of resources and economic opportunities all contribute to high poverty—particularly in rural areas. Rural nonprofits face unique challenges as they work to strengthen their communities and provide affordable homeownership and rental options.
Through our Rural Initiative, NeighborWorks America provides nonprofits on the ground with capital, technical assistance, training, organizational assessment and opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange.

In fiscal year 2017, 67.5 percent of NeighborWorks members served rural communities. NeighborWorks America provided more than $39 million in grants to Rural Initiative members, which—in turn—invested more than $3.5 billion into their communities. As a result, more than 35,000 jobs were created or maintained in rural areas.
Panels outline strategies to lift rural communities out of poverty
Silhouette of "Hope in the Delta" projected on a wooden wall
During the NeighborWorks' summit, "Hope in the Delta: Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty," panels of experts debated what it will take to make a real difference in these areas.

In this blog post, highlights are offered from the spirited discussion.
Experts discuss what Americans should understand about persistent rural poverty
Video still of buildings and words that read "A question to the panel"
Investing in rural communities means changing the stereotypes with which they are labeled, according to panelists at the NeighborWorks summit, "Hope in the Delta: Turning the Tide on Persistent Rural Poverty." Experts discussed the value of investing in rural areas.
NeighborWorks member invests where traditional banks won't
Native American men and women hold up certificates
The Navajo Nation covers more than 27,000 square miles. Seventy percent of people living in the nation earn less than $15,000 per year. Many banks will not lend to residents of sovereign Native-American Nations out of fear they will not be able to foreclose on delinquent loans.
Social media builds stronger community engagement in rural area
Sign post with arrows pointing in different directions that read "Help, Support, Advice, Guidance."
The HomeOwnership Center, a NeighborWorks organization in West Virginia, implemented a plan to up its social media game and better connect with the community, support local businesses and reach younger homebuyers. The effort is showing quantifiable results.
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