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Proposal: Poverty in hometowns and making them a site to see

Poverty is effecting millions of people daily and its the reason towns look run down. So we need to stop blaming just the people and find a solution to help these residents and the town themselves. Would you like to be the person living in the run down homes that make the community ugly and living off the the little money you have? 

The Issue

Problem Defined

Poverty has been an issue in Cumberland, Maryland for quite a time and I imagine its affecting more than just Cumberland. I am trying to help citizens of my hometown and other beloved towns gain perspective of poverty, build a better society to advance the towns economic stand point, and beautify the town. All these issues begin with poverty, so solving poverty could help these small towns. 

Expand all bullets
Unemployment rate in Rual townsMORE

 In an article written about the decline in population and employment in rual towns, it states that "Since peaking at 10.3 percent in 2010, the rural unemployment rate steadily declined to 4.4 percent in 2017 ( USDA, 2018).  Jobs are needed in rual towns to keep them alive and to keep the revenue coming in to beautify the historic, small, tourist towns.

Residents have no motivation MORE

I found that “many rural workers who’ve experienced a permanent job loss, perhaps due to a factory closing, decided to eventually exit the labor force rather than continue their job search.” (Harris and Tarchak, 2019). When big factories leave towns and leave the residents job less, those residents are the one who end up in poverty because going from a higher ranked job to a lower ranked job is hard on a persons ego. 

Outsiders lookMORE

When tourists or other residents look at the residents who live in poverty, face-to-face you can't tell how much lack of money they have but, looking at where they live is a different story. These people in poverty are living off of nothing. The houses are run down and dirty, which isn't good for bringing revenue in for the community. 

Lack of jobs in rual areasMORE

More jobs are needed to satisfy the money need of the residents. Small towns usually only offer minimum wage jobs with no benefits and this is something that urban towns have over rual towns.

Lack of help MORE

The community is lacking the goodness in their hearts to help those in need. People look past the ones in need. They also need more help from the government. Residents need help to get back on their feet and the government can do that. 

Go deeper
Rual Employment and Unemployment

USDA - (Invalid date)

This chart shows that the unemployment rate in non metro areas have higher unemployment than metro areas.


My names Allison Zornes, I'm 18 years old and a student at Allegany College of Maryland. I graduated from Allegany High School in 2019, where I participated in cheerleading four years, was yearbook editor, and a member of NHS. I enjoy being outdoors in my spare time and spending time with family and friends. I love watching my community grow and advance in any way. So I'm willing to help out in the community to make my home town a better place.  

Diane McMahon
Associate Professor of Sociology - Allegany College of Maryland
I am a sociology professor at Allegany College of Maryland, which is located in Cumberland, MD. I also work as the Faculty Director of the Service Learning and Civic Engagement (SLCE) Center at the college. I have worked in a variety of professions in my past that focuses on helping the homeless. Most recently I was the director of a peace and justice organization in Pittsburgh.

I am a great supporter of the work of TheChisel.com because it helps raise up topics that students and community members can work on together, in a bi-partisan manner, to address.
Allison Zornes

The Solution

Proposed Actions
Expand all bullets
Create more jobsMORE

Creating new jobs will help the residents have the opportunity to get back on their feet and to support themselves. 

Taking pride in your hometown MORE

If we take more pride in our towns and beautify then, then the towns won't look run down. The towns will have more potential for revenue which will bring in more jobs for people who need them. 


Educating people on the importance of succeeding in life, getting jobs, and showing what poverty is like will help motivate them in the future to keep out of poverty.

Government helpMORE

The government help will let people get back on their feet and get out of poverty, without the hassle of paying back. 


We can also place posters all of the towns to let other residents know that this issue is going on in their town. And to also give residents opportunities to help out. 

Expected Results
Expand all bullets

By educating the residents about poverty will make them want to avoid it all possibilities. It will teach them to want more in life than to be set up for failure. 


Beautifying your hometown will bring in revenue which is good for businesses and hometown pride. This will also bring in tourism which will benefit the town.

Creating new jobs MORE

By creating new jobs, this will give residents more of an opportunity to provide for themselves and better for their families. This will also eliminate residents going into poverty due to not having a job.


The budget to this varies between the solutions. Creating more jobs will need the expenses of creating and building the businesses for work, I'd estimate this to $100,000 for each new business. Beautifying the town would be estimated to be $500 for each street. Educating doesn't require any pay, other than just what teachers make for their own living. But if we just have the original teachers add it to their lesson plans. Government help would take up the most of the budget and I think it will vary depending on the families income. 

The Conversation

5 months ago
I grew up in a divorced household like most kids do now-a-days. My dad lived 2 hours away from us when I was growing up so my mom raised us as a single parent with little actual help from my father or anyone else except the normal child support money. As my mom raised my two sister and I she also was working part time and going to school full time for nursing. Money was tight for the few years she was in nursing school. She had to pay for daycare, food, school supplies, bills, and essentials needed for life. We lived not quite in poverty but very close and it was hard on all of us. We had government aid for those few years and my mom has said "It saved us in some of the most difficult times." Growing up this way has caused me to make wise and cheap money decisions because I don't want to end up in that position again. I was young when this happened but it will forever affect my life, I remember a lot from those years and it was rough. I hate seeing people in that situation too and I want to do whatever I can to help, although some situations are caused by laziness than instead of hard times. That is why I want to be involved in such a powerful project to help save these people that my family used to be.

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The Proposal Poverty in hometowns and making them a site to see needs your vote by May 3, 2020.
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