Since the pandemic, many more Americans report that they are living paycheck-to-paycheck, 63 percent, and many are still unemployed. From June of 2019 to June of 2020, the unemployment rate in Montgomery County jumped from 3.4 to 11.4 percent. This kind of crisis puts so many more families at risk with Pottstown’s existing poverty rate at 21.7 percent, above the Pennsylvania average of 12.5 percent.
Food security means that you have the access and resources to obtain safe and healthy food. Many families are forced to choose between food and rent or medication, and depend on the Pottstown Cluster to close that gap in order to feed their children. The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities regularly responds to community need by disbursing food through a food pantry, delivery service, community meal program, and redistribution.
Food and housing security are foundational needs for members of the community to be able to be productive and healthy. The Pottstown Cluster works to both mitigate and prevent homelessness. We administer programs that provide rental assistance, eviction prevention, and rapid re-housing. We pursue grant support in order to make it possible for families to not only survive, but start to thrive.
In 2021 we are working to expand our education and supportive services, some of which had been paused due to the pandemic. We are redesigning support programs to allow both in-person and online educational opportunities that provide safe support regardless of the status of current or future health crises.