Pittsburgh is often hailed as an economic success story, having bounced back from the devastating collapse of the steel industry in the 1970s and 1980s by building robust education, medical and technology industries. But, in many communities across the region persistent barriers, such as systemic racism, have resulted in a cycle of poverty that can be hard to break.
Our research reveals that these barriers affect about 30% of the regional population, with 18% of children under age 18 living in poverty. COVID-19 has only made things more difficult. Wages have stagnated as the costs of housing, education and child care continue to rise, making it harder and harder for families to get by. The effects of poverty include poor-quality schools, inadequate transportation and a lack of jobs and job-training opportunities. And, there is disproportionate representation of people living in poverty, especially people of color, in the criminal justice system.
We at The Pittsburgh Foundation want to be part of sustaining Pittsburgh’s growth by building bridges that connect all of our families, friends and neighbors to the region’s opportunities.