The following resources will help Catholics engage in meaningful discussions about poverty in America today. The resources and initiatives below are designed to help individuals and groups not only begin to understand the size and scope of the problem but also start thinking about how they can take action to help create awareness about poverty in their communities.

Poverty Education Resources and Tools

Poverty Awareness Month

January is Poverty Awareness Month! Respond to Pope Francis' challenge to listen to the needs of and empower persons living in poverty by participating in Poverty Awareness Month. An online and print calendar (also en Español) includes daily ways to learn about poverty, get inspired by how communities are responding, and take action with others. You can also sign up to receive the daily reflections by email

Catholic Campaign for Human Development

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Church working to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, "... to bring good news to the poor ... release to captives ... sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free." (Luke 4:18)

Creating on the Margins

Creating on the Margins is a unique educational experience that provides schools and parishes an opportunity to engage the entire community in learning about: (1) poverty and its causes, (2) how low-income persons themselves can effectively lead efforts to address the causes of poverty in their communities, and (3) how all Catholics are called to act in support of such efforts as a result of their faith and the values of Catholic social teaching. Youth learn about poverty and the Church's response and then create visual, written, spoken, or other art forms to educate their peers and community.

Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award

The Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award is an activity of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development that recognizes the leadership, energy and diverse skills that young people bring to the anti-poverty work of low-income projects and Catholic parishes. The Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award highlights the gifts of young adult Catholic leaders and their Gospel commitment to the poor.

CCHD Intern Program

The CCHD Intern Program funds a number of stipend-provided summer, semester, and year-long internships for Catholics in the United States to gain experience working with and on behalf of the poor. These internships occur in around thirty CCHD diocesan offices in the United States, as well as in the CCHD office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Poverty Education Learning Activities

The following are learning activities to help young people learn about poverty in an experiential way:

The Stack of the Deck: An Illustration of the Root Causes of Poverty uses three volunteers and a series of guided exchanges of playing cards to illustrate how a person's background, experiences, and choices can impact his or her opportunities and economic status. 

Take A Step is an activity that helps participants reflect on the "unequal playing field" that can benefit some while leaving others behind.

Ending Poverty in Community (EPIC) is A Toolkit for Young Advocates is designed for use by youth ministry leaders, Catholic high school teachers and religious educators. Six downloadable lesson plans and a resource appendix engage young people in learning, reflection and action on poverty in the U.S.  

Poverty USA: Game Show Edition. Lead your class or small group in this interactive game show in which students can compete and learn by answering true/false questions about Poverty in the U.S.   Instructions: To navigate the game show, start the slide show from the beginning. On slide 3, you will see the main Game Board.  Have players or teams choose questions of different point values from the main Game Board. Click directly on a number on the Game Board to go to a question. The correct answer to the question is always on the following slide. On each answer slide, there is a blue “HOME” button in the bottom corner to return to the Game Board.

Poverty Student Action Project. This guide contains ideas and suggestions for educating about poverty and our Catholic response for grades K-8. 

Poverty USA

PovertyUSA is an initiative of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) and was created as an educational resource to help individuals and communities to address poverty in America by confronting the root causes of economic injustice—and promoting policies that help to break the cycle of poverty.

Journey to Justice

Journey to Justice is a day-long retreat that facilitates an experience of encounter with persons living in poverty and helps participants grow in understanding of the root causes of poverty in their community and reflect on how the Gospel challenges us to respond.

Campus Partnerships to End Poverty

Campus Partnerships to End Poverty. Collaboration between college campuses and CCHD-funded groups helps campuses live out their Catholic mission while increasing the capacity of community organizations to fight poverty.

More Resources from the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development