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App could streamline poverty services

Posted at 6:51 PM, Apr 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 19:25:39-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- The Middletown Choice Market provides people with fresh produce, canned foods and even clothes ot help make ends meet. 

The market serves about 900 people across Butler County each month. It's just one of the services provided locally to help people in poverty. 

"When you're not working, how are you going to provide for your family? And this helps," client Julie Walton said

However, advocates said it can be difficult to coordinate assistance between groups like the market, the United Way and the Community Building Institute of Middletown.

"I think its challenging a lot time for folks to know where to go to for what services and it would be a great resource if there was a way," said Barbara Klie of Family Service of Middletown.

Soon, an app could help families navigate the poverty-based agencies and services that are available to get what they need. Middletown is considering a new mobile app that could streamline assistance more easily than the current 211 hotline.

Coordinating the organizations would just be the first step. The plan is to also consider other factors, like education and low-wage jobs, as contributors to poverty, and find ways to counter those problems.