Marriage can fight poverty—but how do you promote it?

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2017.

At the Maclellan Shelter for Families, Gena Roberts Ellis stands in front of about two dozen residents, blending humor with what she views as an urgent mission: helping these families stay intact.

For twenty years the organization Ellis works for, First Things First, has been trying to help lower divorce rates and raise marriage rates in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which has higher-than-average poverty. Staff lead dozens of local workshops that range from teaching high-school girls about healthy relationships, to couples counseling at churches, to classes in jails, for fathers in trouble for missing child-support payments.

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