Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Integrated Science and Technology

Advisor(s)

Dr. Mary Kimsey

Dr. Amy Goodall

Dr. Zachary Bortolot

Abstract

Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty was established in 1964 to eradicate poverty in the United States. There have been great strides towards accomplishing this goal; however, poverty continues to persist. The purpose of this study is to analyze poverty in Harrisonburg, Virginia and how it compares to poverty at the state and national levels. In addition, this study evaluates the services provided by nonprofits and government agencies to the poor in Harrisonburg. Finally, it investigates the interactions among the nonprofits and government agencies. Poverty statistics come from the U.S. Census Bureau. Analysis of the data reflects that the presence of poverty in Harrisonburg exceeds the state and national average. Interviews were conducted with a dozen local nonprofit directors and government workers to discuss how each entity addresses poverty in the city and how each interacts with other organizations. The interviews reveal that Harrisonburg nonprofits have taken great strides to assist those in poverty in the city and are constantly communicating with other nonprofits to best address those in need. While the state and federal government agencies have programs implemented to assist those in poverty, there is more that could be done at the local government level. A greater knowledge and understanding of poverty, combined with a goal of assisting the poor and working together with other nonprofits, allows the nonprofits in Harrisonburg to address more accurately the needs of the community.

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