Savannah City Council, Chatham Co. Commission discuss united ways to address poverty

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 3:15 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah City Council members and Chatham County Commissioners came together Thursday to talk about poverty in Chatham County and how to address it from a united front.

The focus of Thursday’s discussion really centered around children, and how giving kids the best start possible can have a lasting effect to pull families out of poverty in the long run.

A team from the Georgia Family Connection Partnership gave an in-depth presentation, showing leaders what signs they use to gauge child and family well-being, and how to solve any issues. Child abuse and neglect, grade-level reading, and high school completion were some of those indicators, but those in the meeting today acknowledged the point that a child’s well-being starts even before they’re born.

“Research shows that if babies are born at less than 2,500 grams, which is about five and a half pounds, they are probably, there’s a much higher probability that they will struggle as a child, and all the way through their life actually,” Interim City Manager Michael Brown said.

In Chatham County, just over 11 percent of babies born are at a low birthweight. That is higher than the state and national average.

Thursday’s discussion also included detailing plans in the works to build an early childhood learning center on Savannah’s east side.

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