About the Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force

In 2014 more than 24 percent of the citizens in Winston-Salem lived in poverty, based on their household income. These residents cannot provide themselves with adequate medical care, education, housing, food, and other resources.

However, the consequences of poverty impact everyone: social workers, employers, church-goers and church staffs, law enforcement officers and court officials, teachers, students and school staffs, employees of local government, merchants, lenders – everyone.

The Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force is a communitywide collaboration spearheaded by the city of Winston-Salem to identify steps both feasible and impactful to reduce the number of residents living in poverty.

The Poverty Thought Force was formed in October 2015 and comprises 22 members representing a broad range of Winston-Salem’s civic and academic institutions. The Poverty Thought Force has five subcommittees that focus on various aspects of poverty:

  • Health and Wellness
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Jobs and Workforce Development
  • Education and Life Skills
  • Hunger and Food Insecurity.

To ensure the broadest possible input into their work, the Poverty Thought Force used the world café method to gather information and ideas from the public and from people who work in these areas.

The Poverty Thought Force will took the information and ideas harvested from these world cafés and came up with a list of 56 policy recommendations, spread across its five focus areas.

Technical support for the Poverty Thought Force has been provided by Forsyth Futures.

Learn more about poverty in Winston-Salem

How poverty affects everyone

Thought Force members

Learn more about the world café method