“Poverty is not one-size-fits-all. The system is not built to support families and we need to have big systemic changes to support our people.”
- Caroline Koty, EMPath Family Mobility Mentor

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled an estimated eight million Americans into poverty. Millions lost jobs that kept them one paycheck away from becoming destitute, and many, like those who were formerly considered middle income, now depend on the food banks where they used to donate. There have always been poor people, but the pandemic has exposed some of the realities and conditions of poverty which are little seen and often misunderstood.

In the wake of the pandemic, who is poor now? And what are the persistent myths about impoverished Americans that shape public attitudes and undermine potential policy solutions?


Mark Rank - professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and lead-author of Poorly Understood: What America Gets Wrong About Poverty.

Peter Edelman - faculty director of Georgetown University’s Center on Poverty and Inequality and author of Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America.

Caroline Koty - licensed clinical social worker and family mobility mentor at Economic Mobility Pathways, or EMPath, in Boston.


Mobility Mentoring®

Mobility Mentoring® describes both the programs and services delivered using the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency® as the platform for participant assessment, goal setting, and outcomes measurement and the staffing practice that helps people attain economic independence. Mobility Mentoring is based on a set of key principles, elements, and assumptions.

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