The announcement was made May 29, 2014 at the Tri-Valley Poverty Awareness Lunch. The event brought together roughly 40 community services agencies, city and local businesses leaders to address the issue of poverty in the Tri-Valley area.
"The Tri-Valley is often thought of as a wealthy and affluent area," said Marianne Balin, community benefits manager for Kaiser Permanente's Diablo Area as she welcomed attendees. "But there are people in the area who need help. These pockets of 'hidden' poverty need to be addressed by everyone if we are to meet the needs of our community."
Speaker Jane Martin, epidemiology manager for Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, noted that there are roughly 9,200 people in the Tri-Valley who are living in poverty. For a family of four, that is roughly $23,000/year.
"We must elevate the impact of our collective work to make the most difference," Balin said. "Poverty is a key driver of health."
Those in attendance at the Poverty Awareness Lunch included: Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, Livermore Mayor John Marchand, Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne and representatives from Clorox, Safeway, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, PG&E, Alameda County Community Food Bank and Lawrence Livermore National Lab.
The group discussed the importance of keeping people out of poverty while providing the needed skills to prevent a return to poverty; the importance of education and ways local organizations can help make a difference.
"The number of clients we serve will double in the next five years," said Sue Compton, chief executive officer of Axis Community Health. "That is why having these conversations now and bringing together the right stakeholders is so important."
Axis Community Health plans to use the grant to help fund $6 million in renovations of 5925 W. Las Positas in Pleasanton. While the majority of the costs will be financed, the grant will go towards the $1.7 million Axis Community Health needs to complete funding needs. The site was a former retail space for DirectBuy. Once renovations are complete, the space will house 27 exam rooms and nine counseling spaces. Construction is expected to begin in November.
Another Tri-Valley Poverty Awareness event is set for September. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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