Savannah has enjoyed significant economic development for decades while at the same time some neighborhoods have been plagued by persistent poverty. These deep pockets of poverty impair our community’s ability to prosper and grow.
- Savannah’s poverty rate is 25.1 percent for the city overall and significantly higher in six census tracts. The poverty rate is $22,314 for a family of four, according to federal guidelines.
- 33.1 percent of children under age 18 live in poverty in the city.
- More than 70 percent of households living in poverty are headed by single women.
Step Up, approximately 100 organizations strong, began as a task force in 2003 when community leaders decided they needed to look at poverty with fresh eyes. The poverty reduction task force (initiated by the City of Savannah and funded in part by then Savannah Electric) identified key barriers to self-sufficiency and, relying on research from the University of Georgia, prepared an action plan.
This unique partnership among local business, government and non-profit organizations is the result of that work.
Our offices are located in the United Way of the Coastal Empire building: 428 Bull St., Suite 208; Savannah, Ga. 31401. (912) 232-6747.
How does it work?
Step Up seeks to engage the entire community. Volunteers from business, social service agencies and government create innovative approaches in these areas: workforce development, building wealth, and work supports, which include healthcare, transportation and affordable housing.
Step Up also reaches out to employers in the private and public sectors, to inform low-wage workers about benefits such as food stamps and PeachCare that can increase families’ spending power.
Step Up also mobilizes resources for job training programs in Savannah’s neighborhoods, including the Chatham Apprentice Program, supported by Chatham County.
Savannah is a community where all people have hope and opportunity, where we challenge injustice, and where all community members Step Up to reduce poverty.
Step Up Savannah works collaboratively to reduce poverty in Savannah and Chatham County.
Who we are
Members of the Step Up Savannah board reflect the range of our collaborative partners: Business and government leaders, social service providers, and neighborhood leaders representing the high-poverty census tracts.