A Special Focus on Poverty in November

Little girl living in poverty © Brandy Taylor/Gety Images

Across geographic, social and cultural landscapes, Americans from backgrounds of all kinds don’t have enough money to meet their basic needs. Even when the larger economy is robust and job reports are positive, millions of Americans aren’t a part of that picture. They are white, rural, urban, black, married, single, Native American, Hispanic, gay, straight and gender nonconforming. They are religious and they are not. They are elderly and they are just babies. They are our relatives and neighbors – they are us.

This November, Microsoft News is putting a focus on Poverty in America with a 2-week series examining the root causes of poverty, what poverty really means to the many different kinds of people affected, and what we can do to contribute to the most meaningful solutions. We teamed up with some of our most trusted news partners to bring you custom content and highlight quality journalism that helps us understand these issues.

Our colleagues at 24/7 Wall Street put their expertise in data journalism to work to provide the anchor piece for our series, Poverty in America. This in-depth report analyzes this very complex issue with care and clarity, and helps us focus in on the possibilities that can change the course of a person’s life.

You’ll also find stories contributed from a broad range of MSN’s partners, including The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, Mom.me, Espresso, Wonderwall and more that help us see the humans behind the statistics and understand their challenges.

As part of our research for this package, we enlisted the help of polling firm CivicScience to get a sense of how you, our readers, feel about the issue of poverty. A few of the things we found:

  • Approximately 2/3 of people are concerned about the level of poverty in the United States right now.
  • You are more likely to support a charitable cause if someone you know or your community is affected.
  • Women are 1.2x more likely than men to be concerned about the issue of poverty.
  • Generally speaking, the more money you make, the less likely you are to care about poverty (although more than half of those making $150K+ are still concerned about the issue).
  • You prefer to contribute money (45%) over volunteering time (23%).
  • Approximately 2/3 of people believe that educational/employment opportunities are the best way to improve the poverty rate.

Microsoft News is supporting the work of three organizations for their proven ability to address the needs of those living in poverty:

  • Feeding America: Provides meals to people in need through a nationwide network of food banks and helps address root causes of hunger.
  • Year Up: A national program that enables young adults to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in one year.
  • Skillful: An initiative that brings together key players across the labor market — employers, state and federal governments, LinkedIn, educators, and workforce centers — to help American workers adapt to the changing workplace. Last year, Microsoft and The Markle Foundation announced a partnership to help Skillful to help expand its reach. Learn more about our work together here.

We hope you’ll join us in our efforts to raise awareness around poverty, improve how we approach people living in poverty, and raise money and volunteer efforts for the organizations that are helping Americans in poverty with both their immediate needs and long-term pathways to more stable and prosperous lives.

About MSN Causes
At MSN, we’re passionate about keeping our audience informed using content from the world’s top news providers. Millions of you get your news from us every day, and we’re grateful. We’re also passionate about empowering people to make a difference. That’s why we started MSN Causes.

These special content packages are created to inform and empower people around select topics. We believe that a thriving future, both in the near-term and long-term, is within our power if we’re willing to make it so.

See our previous Causes projects:
Special Olympics
Missing Children
Protecting Biodiversity
Gender Equality
Helping America’s Homeless