Poverty is a real and serious issue in Pittsburgh. Currently, 21% of Pittsburgh’s population lives at or below the poverty rate, a full 6% higher than the national average. This disparity in wealth is also reflected in data relating to homelessness, home ownership, employment, education, health and well-being, and most other measures of “livability” in Pittsburgh.
While Pittsburgh experienced a lower unemployment rate overall during the recent “Great Recession,” we also were experiencing much higher levels of unemployment among key sectors of Pittsburgh population. In 2012, 16.6% of African American Pittsburghers and 11.8% of Hispanic Pittsburghers were unemployed, respectively nearly three times and two times the unemployment rate of White Pittsburghers (6.1%).
Likewise, this inequity continues with arrest and incarceration rates in Pittsburgh. Here, African American youth were arrested at 5 times the rate of their white peers, but across the nation African American youth were arrested at twice the rate of their white peers. Similarly, African American adults were arrested at three times the rate of their white peers in Pittsburgh, but only twice as much across the nation.
By providing work, training, and supportive services, Landforce aims to fight against the wealth disparity within Pittsburgh’s population by providing opportunities for individuals to overcome barriers to employment and obtain family-supporting wages.