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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is poverty?

Answer: Poverty is defined based on income and household size by the federal government each year. For example, a family of four people with income below $25,750 is considered to be below the poverty level. Unfortunately, having income above the federal poverty level is not the same as financial self-sufficiency. People with income below and above the federal poverty rate can access services and support through CSO to meet their needs and achieve their goals. Click here for more information about the federal poverty definition.

Question: Why are people poor?

Answer: There isn't just one reason why people are poor. The reasons are as complex and varied as people – job loss, illness, domestic violence, and lack of formal education are just some of the causes of poverty. In a lot of communities, there aren't enough well-paying jobs for everyone. Many people who are poor are working low-wage and/or part-time jobs without benefits that do not provide enough income for them to make ends meet. Poverty is not a reflection of personal failure; it is often a temporary situation that people experience when unexpected life changes occur.

Question: Are there poor people in my community?

Answer: The answer is probably yes. Poverty can be found in rural, suburban, and urban areas. Click here for more information about the poverty rate in your county.

Question: My income is above the federal poverty level. Am I eligible for your services?

Answer: You might be! We serve many people who have income well above the federal poverty level. Our programs benefit everyone in the community; however, some of our programs have income-based eligibility criteria. To find out how we can help you, stop in to see us or call us at (570) 644-6575.

Question: How can I help CSO?

Answer: There are lots of ways you can help CSO! Financial contributions help us to provide the many products and services that we offer. You can also give your time by volunteering at CSO. We also organize a few fun events each year to raise money for CSO and our mission. We also partner with Community Aid to collect clothing contributions that raise money for CSO. Clothing can be dropped off at the bin in front of our Shamokin location (Two East Arch Street) anytime.

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