Ben Carson visits Memphis, discusses ending poverty

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, spent Tuesday in Memphis offering his prescription for reducing poverty.

"Number one, finish high school," Carson said. "Number two, get married. Number three, wait until you're married to have children and you have a two percent or less chance of living in poverty."

Carson shared his blueprint at Winridge Elementary in Hickory Hill.

While there he met an emotional Shakila Boyd, a formerly homeless woman now grateful for life-changing help from HUD that came through a faith-based agency called Agape.

"I'm able to do better now," Boyd said. "I'm going back to school. I have a house."

Carson talked about the importance of child care programs that allow women like Boyd to return to school and get a degree.

"She becomes independent but more importantly, teaches that to her children," Carson said.

Carson came to Memphis to mark the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, outlawing discrimination in housing.

But what he talked about mostly was poverty reduction and creating partnerships that help achieve that goal.

"That's the way we're moving at HUD now," Carson said.

Carson wrote a column in USA Today about the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which you can read by clicking here.

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