North Carolina Newspapers

    POVERTY CHALLENGE
CEO of HAWS Authority testifies on Capitol Hill
SPECIAL TO
THE CHRONICLE
Larry C. Woods, the
CEO of the Housing
Authority of Winston
Salem, testified on Capitol
Hill to the House of
Representatives' Budget
Committee on Wednesday,
Oct. 28. The committee
members invited him to
speak about the need to
change the overall
approach to public assis
tance in a way that pro
vides "positive exit strate
gies" for recipients.
The title of the hearing
was Restoring the Trust for
America's Most Vulnerable
[Hearing ID: 104125],
Woods advises that the
strategy to success is not
just to "throw money" at
the federally funded "safe
ty net" programs such as
SNAP (Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance
Program), Medicaid, hous
ing and other social servic
es. Instead, fund and sup
port these programs based
on hard data reflecting pos
itive results that "grow
families out of poverty."
Woods ' states, "Our
entire system is broken,
plain and simple '... and it's
broken because our
approach is flawed."
Until now, the focus has
only been on "getting peo
ple in, not getting people
out of the safety net."
Woods believes the
new direction of public
assistance programs should
be creating and implement
ing positive initiatives for
getting people up and out
of the safety net, thereby
avoiding a perpetual cycle
of poverty. He wants to
help the "most vulnerable"
populations overcome
challenges of generational
poverty; a cycle that con
tinues today with few tan
gible and attainable incen
tives for positive change.
According to Woods,
there are a growing number
of agencies (public and pri
vate) that are discussing
coordination of services,
resource leveraging, col
laborative partnerships and
data sharing, all related to
performance-based out
comes.
Woods said, "Just
recently, [Winston-Salem]
Mayor Allen Joines con
vened a meeting with lead
ing educational institu
tions, charitable and phil
anthropic trusts, human
service providers, consult
ants, housing providers and
a host of others to develop
strategies to address the
poverty in our city."
Woods testified on a
panel of public service
providers and leaders
including William
McGahan (founder,
Georgia Works!), Olivia
Golden (executive director.
Center for Law and Social
A ?
Policy/CLASP) and Robert
Doar (Morgridge Fellow in
Poverty Studies, American
Enterprise Institute/AEI).
They all spoke on the
importance of continuing
to fund public service
organizations and the
impact their services have
on the economy.
However, they also
focused on how local agen
cies should have the flexi
bility to recommend and
determine the types and
levels of services that best
fit the needs of local popu
lations they serve. They
stated that cutting funding
would only make the mat
ter more complicated with
a highly negative impact on
the economy on a national
scale.
House Budget
Committee Chairman Tom
Price recognized the chal
lenges of non-localized
funding regulations and its
long-term affects. He
described the presentations
and full written testimonies
of the panel members as
"incredibly inspiring." He
urged his colleagues to read
the entire testimonies to
understand the aspects of
what each organization is
working to accomplish on a
local scale and beyond.
View the full testimony
a l
https .-//wwH.youtube .com!
watch?v=_UHUqyDZzs&f
eature=youtu .be. Woods'
testimony begins at 41:06,
and he continues through
out the hearing with com
ments on various related
discussion items. (
i
"Our entire
system is broken,
plain and simple
... and it's broken
because our
approach is
flawed."
Submitted photo*
Shown are (L-R)
Robert Doar,
Morgridge Fellow in
Poverty Studies,
American Enterprise
Institute IAE1; William
McGahan, founder of
Georgia Works!; Tom
Price, Budget
Committee Chairman;
and Larry Woods,
CEO of the Housing
Authority of Winston'
Salem.
YouTube image
Larry Woods, CEO of the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, testifies on
Capitol Hill to the House of Representatives' Budget Committee on Wednesday,
Oct. 28..
Housing Authority celebrates Camden open house
SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem will cele
brate the open house of its fourth Step-Up housing loca
tion, Camden Station, on Friday, Nov. 6.
Unlike traditional public housing guidelines, able
bodied adult participants in the People Achieving Their
Highest (PATH) program who desire to live in the newly
constructed or renovated Step-Up housing locations must
work at least 30 hours per week. As participants step up
and out and progress through the program, they truly
progress toward attaining self sufficiency and the
"American dream."
The PATH program is a program recently implement
ed at the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem. The pri
mary goal of PATH is to reduce or eliminate families'
need for public assistance. It is designed to provide guid
ance that promotes long-term self-reliance and economic
stability through education, job training, job placement
and in some cases, home ownership.
Within the PATH initiative, the Housing Authority
provides modernized affordable housing (referred to as
"Step-Up" housing), while community partners provide
other supportive services and case management to help
ensure participants' success. These partners include but
are not limited to educational institutions, workforce
development organizations, and law enforcement.
As participants move up and out of the PATH pro
gram, it provides opportunities for the Housing Authority
to assist other families in need.
Infant mortality at a historic low in Forsyth County
BY MAYEESA MITCHELL
FOR THE CHRONICLE
Forsyth County's infant mortality rate
decreased in 2014 to 6.4 infants per 1,000
live births, according to a report released
by the Forsyth County Department of
Public Health.
Infant mortality, which calculates
infants who are bom alive and die before
the age of one, is considered one of the
most important indicators of a communi
ty's health.
"The health of the community is meas
ured by infant mortality," said Rodd
Smith, Director of Forsyth County Infant
Mortality Reduction Coalition. ?
"Whenever you have more babies dying,
you have to ask yourself why."
The matter of questioning why can be
resolved by examining the three leading
causes of infant mortality. They are: pre
maturity and low birth weight, birth
defects, and other conditions originating in
the perinatal period.
Although the three largest factors can
be measured, the reasons these factors
develop are a result of a variety of envi
ronmental, cultural and health influences.
"We know that many factors that con
tribute to infant mortality are societal and
complex," said Marlon Hunter, Forsyth
County Health Director. "From a health
perspective, we want women to achieve
optimal health before they become preg
nant in order to improve birth outcomes."
Unfortunately, many African
American women do not have access to
the proper prenatal care and are subject to
additional stress levels that can have a
negative effect on pregnancy.
This imbalance in prenatal care has
resulted in a disparity in birth outcomes.
According to the report, the infant
death rate for African-Americans was 10.6
deaths per 1,000 live births, while the
death rate for white infants was 5.2 deaths
per 1,000 live births. This means that for
every white infant that dies, two African
American infants die..
"The disparity is there and has existed
for years," said Smith.
Although the disparity still exists, it
has improved substantially. Much of the
improvement in the last 20 years is a result
of effective programs put in place through
out the county.
"Many of the services provided by the
medical community in Forsyth County
leads to improved care for women, partic
ularly for the time before and after preg
nancy," said Smith.
One such program being put in place is
by the Forsyth County Infant Mortality
Reduction Coalition. Over the next three
years, they will be increasing their efforts
in helping to decrease infant mortality by
addressing issues related to reducing
preterm birth, improving mental health
services for women, and stressing the
importance of individuals of reproductive
ages developing reproductive life plans.
The Coalition will work in coordina
tion with the Department of Public Health,
concerned citizens and health and human
service professionals to execute this plan.
"More and more we are learning that
infant mortality is a community problem
and community problems need communi
ty solutions and investment," said Hunter.
UNC governing board
discloses pay raises to
12 campus heads
BY EMERY P. DALESIO
ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHAPEL HILL ? Governors of
North Carolina's public university system
awarded pay raises of up to 20 percent to
top executives at 12 of the state's 17 cam
puses after consultants reported the offi
cials were underpaid, documents released
Monday show.
Winston-Salem State University
Chancellor Ellwood Robinson gets an 8
percent increase to $280,000.
The University of North Carolina's
Board of Governors on Monday released
information on raises approved during a
closed-door meeting on Friday.
Consultants hired by the university sys
tem's board found "the University's total
compensation for its most senior execu
tives was not competitive with market and
did not adequately equip the University to
recruit or retain top talent," a statement
provided by university system officials
said.
Five of the 17 chancellors have been
hired in the past year, seven in the past 16
months.
University faculty and other employ
ees received a $750 bonus but no raises
this year. Gabriel Lugo, a mathematics
professor at UNC-Wilmington and the
chair-elect of the UNC Faculty Assembly,
which represents educators across the
statewide system, declined to comment
Monday.
Friday's Board of Governors decisions
came one week after the oversight board
hired former U.S. Education Secretary
Margaret Spellings to run the 220,000-stu
dent university system at a base salary of
$775,000 a year, nearly 30 percent more
than the $600BOO paid to current president
Tom Ross.
Her salary is higher than presidents at
the University of Michigan and the
University of California, but lower than
top leaders at Texas public universities.
Spelling could be paid more if she meets
incentive bonuses the governors haven't
yet set for her.
Overall consumer costs have increased
since 2008, when the Great Recession was
worsening, by 13 percent, the consultants
reported. University chancellors in North
Carolina received an average pay raise of
7 percent in that time.
The pay raises approved Friday were
made retroactive to July.
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