WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Poverty, it doesn’t have a particular look or face, and it’s something that is affecting more and more people across the nation and across Texoma each day.

“I think when we think about poverty, we think poverty is a word and it acts as an umbrella and anyone struggling with poverty falls under that umbrella, and that is not the case. There are different types of poverty. You have generational poverty, situational poverty, poverty of self,” key-note speaker and author Elia Moreno said.

On average in Wichita County, Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce President Henry Florsheim says more than 40,000 households live in poverty, and with the cost of living and just about everything else going up, while low wages stay stagnant, it’s a cycle that author Elia Moreno says will continue to worsen.

“We need to work to understand, because we judge what we don’t understand. So we have to understand that not everyone has our lived experience,” Moreno said.

Moreno, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth and the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce joined forces to present the 5th Annual Poverty Summit. A meaningful event that Catholic Charities Chief Service Officer Ronna Huckaby says helps us all see how we can be a part of the solution.

“I think one of the things that’s really important about tonight is that just letting people know that Catholic Charities Fort Worth Northwest Campus is here to help those in poverty our friends and neighbors many of them are living in poverty,” Huckaby said.

Huckaby and Moreno say donating time, money and just a listening ear at times are the first steps we all can take to help anyone going through a tough time.

“It’s so important to create a poverty informed community so we are able to serve holistically and all people, not just pick and choose the ones we believe look like poverty,” Moreno said.

Both hope these conversations go beyond this summit and out in the community where it’s so desperately needed.

“Because when we do what we do and love whatever that is. We create an atmosphere of hope and where there is hope, it’s game on, lives change,” Moreno said.

To learn more on how you can get involved with Catholic Charites and help them on their fight to end poverty click here.