Friday, Catholic leaders from across the state of Indiana attended the first, ever Indiana Catholic Poverty Summit.
Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns hosted the event, which was inspired by the Catholic Chartities USA's Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America.
Bishops from across the state, presidents of prominent Catholic organizations like Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Catholic Charities USA, plus social service prodivers from healthcare and educational institutions were all in attendance.
Organizers hope the message that change needs to start at the community level will spread.
"It's very encouraging for me to come here on a state level and meet all the different folks and see the interest, enthusiasm and the fact people are really looking for local solutions that are going to make a difference," said Father Larry Snyder, the president of Catholic Charities USA.
"I didn't really know the statistics until this morning, I had a sense," said Bishop Kevin Rhoades, the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese. "We're the 37th to 38th state in the United States of as far as this goes, so it's a significant problem in our state."