'Un-Conference' Aims To Eliminate Poverty In Topeka

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- Poverty is on the rise in our community, and a conference Wednesday morning brought community leaders and citizens together to come up with solutions.

More than 120 people gathered at Washburn University's Memorial Union to discuss and uncover the different facets of poverty in the city.

Community leaders, various organizations and those who are dealing with poverty first-hand discussed issues such as health care, urban v. rural poverty, counseling, working with impoverished students and disability services.

The goal is to develop solutions, form collaborations between organizations and networking.

"We have more hungry children today in Topeka than we did 50 years ago," University Relations spokesperson Michaela Saunders said. "It's really a pressing issue in the community. It's not neighborhood specific, it's all over the city. There are kids who are hungry, there are parents who are hungry."

This was the first conference put on of its kind at Washburn. The University's VISTA Fellows program and Heartland Visioning organized it.