WISCAP held its 27th annual ‘Poverty Matters!’ conference on October 17th and 18th at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, Wisconsin. A total of 189 individuals attended the 1 ½ day event.
This year’s conference featured 29 workshops with a broad range of topics, including a presentation on “The War on Poverty in America,” a poverty simulation workshop, workshops that addressed issues on homelessness, food security, health coverage options for poor Wisconsinites, employment options for SSI recipients, a workshop on “The Economics of Abuse” and building financial capability with low-income households.
Conference participants heard from Eloise Anderson, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, and Tim Smeeding, Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty, who presented an overview of the Wisconsin Poverty Report. Other plenary speakers included Ken Taylor, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families (WCCF); Bruce Speight, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG); and Conor Williams, Policy Analyst for the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, who shared an innovative approach to attacking poverty being researched by the Institute. We were honored to have Senator Herb Kohl drop in briefly to receive recognition for his Senate career working for causes important to low-income households. It was also announced that, beginning in 2013, the conference’s ‘Helping Hand’ award will be called the ‘Herb Kohl Helping Hand Award.’
Adams County’s ‘School Lunch Bunch’ was honored for the collaborative work they do in providing meals between school years to low-income children in the Wisconsin Dells area; as was Ms. Netra Crump of Baraboo for the courage she has exhibited in growing into economic self-sufficiency.