Houston poverty summit searches for answers

HOUSTON – With an estimated 40 million Americans living in poverty, Houston sees one in five children in that category.

That is unacceptable and Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is doing something about it with a poverty summit on Jan. 16 at the University of St. Thomas.

“When you think of poverty for a child it means being hungry, going without food, going to bed on an empty stomach,” said Natalie Wood the senior director of programs for Catholic Charities. “Poverty can happen to anyone, and poverty takes a lot of moving pieces, and it is not a self-selected lifestyle. That’s the one thing we want to make sure that people understand.”

The definition of poverty is a family of four living on $25,750 a year. However local studies have shown that it takes at least $60,000 for a family of four to do OK in Houston. Find out more about the summit and the impact poverty is having on our region on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

Huntsman Family Foundation pours money into mental health research, treatment

Peter Huntsman is Chairman, President and CEO of Huntsman Corporation based in The Woodlands. He also leads the Huntsman Family Foundation that has donated millions toward a number of causes, including cancer research. Now, the foundation is pouring in $150 million to establish the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, which Huntsman hopes will become a world leader in raising awareness and research for the treatment of mental health.

“When you start comparing cancer research and mental health, what do we really know about the brain?” Huntsman asked. ”What do we really know about human behavior, depression, bipolar depression and so forth? It’s safe to say that we’re decades ahead in cancer research than what we are in mental health.”

Huntsman said the goal is to be able to openly talk about mental health issues so it will be easier to develop a treatment. See this insightful interview on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

Date for annual MLK Memorial Scholarship Breakfast set

Circle the date! Monday, Jan. 20 is the date of the 32nd Annual Martin Luther King Memorial Scholarship Breakfast. The event will once again honor those who have devoted their lives to service but more importantly will raise money for students.

“We’re looking to honor 50 students for the 2020 year," said Donnell Cooper, president of the Greater Houston Frontiers Club. “They can be going to a junior college or a four-year institution and so we look forward to kicking off the celebration in 2020.”

Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

More information

Natalie Wood, Senior Director of Programs, Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Peter Huntsman, Chairman, President & CEO, Huntsman Corporation and Foundation

Lorenza Butler, Chair, Greater Houston Frontiers Club MLK Breakfast

Donnell Cooper, President Greater Houston Frontiers Club

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