Insights on Poverty


The SDC's mission is to provide resources to move people beyond poverty. As the largest Community Action Agency in Milwaukee County and the state of Wisconsin, the agency strives to provide services that meet the needs of the low-income population that it serves. Identifying the needs of this population is critical in determining the best resources to help them lift themselves out of poverty. The SDC continuously strives to obtain feedback from its customers and low-income residents of our community. Education of all in our community - the public and private sectors, the business community, the healthcare industry, faith-based community and others.

We invite you to review the information below to better understand the barriers and struggles of those living in poverty, and discover how SDC is engaging the community to learn about the issues and obstacles facing our community and nation.


Community Needs Assessment

One of the ways that the SDC tailors its services to meet the needs of its customers is by conducting a Community Needs Assessment. The assessment is conducting every three years. Milwaukee County Residents living in poverty are surveyed to find out what barriers exist in their lives on everything from employment and housing to education and income levels. Examining these better informs the agency, and the community at large, about how poverty is truly impacting the lives of people living in it. It unveils the reality of life in low-income households.

2015-2016 Community Needs Assessment

2015-2016 Community Needs Assessment - Summary

2013 CSBG Needs Assessment - Final Report

2013 CSBG Needs Assessment - Summary Report

Summit on Poverty

After a hiatus for what was former known as the Symposium on Poverty, SDC revived the Summit on Poverty in 2016. The Summits focus on factors impacting poverty, providing education on low-income issues, and works to identify ways to address barriers in the lives of those living in poverty. The free event welcomes 500+ attendees and, in its second year, grew to two-days. At the conclusion of the Summit, participants inspired, have a deeper understanding of the issues affecting poverty, ways to effect change and most are ambassadors for low-income individuals and families.

2017 Summit on Poverty - Program

2016 Summit on Poverty - Program



SDC does not discriminate in its programs, activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of a
person’s sex, race, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or disability.

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