poverty

Texas
7:31 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Texas Welfare Rate Among Lowest in Country

A map showing the percentage of households in 2012 that received public assistance in the past 12 months.
U.S. Census Bureau

Texas has one of the nation's lowest rates of people on welfare, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. It says 1.8 percent of Texas households received benefits through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program in 2012. 

Only Wyoming (1.7 percent), South Carolina (1.6 percent), North Dakota (1.5 percent) and Louisiana (1.5 percent) had lower welfare rates than Texas. The United States average is 2.9 percent. The tally did not include food stamps or Social Security benefits. 

Read more
Aging in Texas
8:39 am
Thu March 6, 2014

'Promotoras' Help Texas Border's Poorest Seniors Make Healthy Choices

Maria Luisa Aranda lives in a colonia in Progreso, a town near the Texas border.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

Some of the poorest seniors in Texas live in Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley.

Many only speak Spanish and don’t have access to the basics, like food or medical care. But a Texas A&M professor and his team of community health workers – or "promotoras de salud” – are trying to find ways to help seniors along the border improve those conditions. 

They're working in places like the colonia border town of Progreso, near the Mexican border. Progreso is  one of the poorest places in the one of the poorest counties in the United States. The unemployment rate is more than 10 percent.

Read more
Texas
11:26 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Almost Half of Texas Lacks Savings to Cover Job Loss, Medical Emergency

Volunteers sort food at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. A new report suggests almost half of Texas households aren’t financially prepared in the event of a job loss or health emergency.
Credit KUT News

Another national report card is out, and Texas households are still struggling to beef up their savings. 

Almost half of Texas households don’t have enough savings to pay for basic expenses for three months, which means most families aren’t prepared in the event of a job loss or health emergency.

According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s 2014 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard, the state’s policies are also not helping residents achieve financial security.

Read more
National
5:56 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents

The bustling Sidamo coffee shop in Washington's H Street Northeast neighborhood. The area has attracted many new, young residents and high-end bars, retail and restaurants over the past several years.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:34 am

Bobby Foster Jr. can often be found reading the paper on a wooden bench outside Murry's grocery store on the corner of Sixth and H streets northeast in Washington, D.C.

"The sun shines over here this time of day," says Foster, a retired cook. "It's always good when the sun shines."

Murry's has been an anchor in this neighborhood for decades — during the crack wars of the 1980s and the urban blight that followed, when most other businesses packed up and left. Foster has been somewhat of an anchor, too. He's lived here for 54 years.

Read more
Poverty
5:30 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Fifty Years After Start of War on Poverty, Texas Has Room for Improvement

Today marks 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson called on Congress and the nation to fight poverty. Texas – President Johnson’s home state – often touts its growing economy. But the state has one of the highest rates of poverty in the U.S.
LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas

Today marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's call to Congress, and the nation, to fight poverty.

Texas – President Johnson’s home state – often touts its growing economy. But the state has one of the highest rates of poverty in the U.S.

Read more
Economy
12:09 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Income Inequality Is The 'Challenge Of Our Time,' Obama Says

President Obama talks Wednesday about the economy and growing economic inequality in Washington.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 3:46 pm

President Obama tried Wednesday to turn the conversation back to the economy, calling the growing income gap the "defining challenge of our time."

Read more
Business
3:09 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Majority of Texas Fast-Food Workers on Public Assistance

Texas has the seventh-largest percentage of front-line fast-food workers on public assistance among 24 states included in a new report.
flickr.com/keoni101

Fifty-nine percent of front-line fast-food workers in Texas rely on public assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid to support their families, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Nationally, more than half – 52 percent – of the families of front-line fast-food workers use at least one public assistance program, compared with a quarter of the total workforce, according to the report. The research was sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Urban & Regional Planning.

Read more
Austin
7:24 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Austin: Second Fastest Growing City for Suburban Poverty

Austin has the second-largst percentage increase amoung top 100 biggest U.S. cities
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Austin is growing – and so is the area’s low income population.

Over the last decade or so, the number of people living in poverty in Austin grew by 77 percent. But the number of people living in poverty in the suburbs grew by more than 140 percent. These numbers made Austin the second-largest percentage increase among big cities across the U.S.

Read more
Texas
12:39 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Half of All Texans Have No Savings

Not counting assets like homes and cars, half of Texans have no savings for emergencies.
Flickr user Images of Money, bit.ly/LeSsiT

State leaders routinely hail the "Texas Miracle" that's created one of the strongest economies in the country. 

Everyone mentions the growth and job opportunities across the Lone Star State, but a recent study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development shows that many Texans are striving on the edge of poverty.

Read more
health
6:40 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Texas Low-Income Children Lack Dental Care

Low-income children often don't have school-based dental sealant programs.
flickr.com/steveritchie

A new report grading states on dental health gives Texas low marks when it comes to providing low-income children with dental care. The report from the Pew Center on the States finds Texas has been slow to improve access to dental sealants – which can prevent cavities.

Read more
Austin
7:30 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Three of Austin's Biggest Names Come Together for One Cause

Matthew McConaughey at an event for his just keep livin Foundation.
MJ&M Facebook Page

An actor, a musician and UT’s head football coach are joining forces to help kids in need.

Mack Brown, Jack Ingram and Matthew McConaughey are putting together an event they’re calling “Mack, Jack & McConaughey" or "MJ&M."

There's not a lot of information right now—even the event's website says "additional details to be announced."

What we do know is that MJ&M will be a two-day, celebrity-filled special event held in Austin in April to raise funds for various children’s charities. The only charity already listed by name as one that will be supported is McConaughey’s just keep livin Foundation.

Read more
Austin
12:54 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Percentage of Low-Income Austin Residents Up

The Community Dashboard report aims to measure the social, heath, education and economic well-being of the area.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The percentage of low-income residents in Austin is going up. That’s according to the Community Action Network’s third annual Community Dashboard report, released this morning.

Read more
Education
5:08 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Impoverished Texas Student Population Ticks Past 59 Percent

This chart shows the increase in economically disadvantaged students in Texas, as a percentage of the total student population.
Image courtesy Texas Education Agency

While Gov. Perry tours the country arguing that Texas is an economic powerhouse, new data from the state’s education agency shows 2.9 million public school students are economically disadvantaged. The number represents 59.1 percent of the student population in the 2010-11 school year. It's a slight uptick from 58.9 percent the previous year.

Ten years ago, 49.2 percent of students were counted as impoverished. The total number of economically disadvantaged students increased from 2 million in the 2000-01 school year to 2.9 million in the 2010-11 school year, an increase of 45 percent. 

Economically disadvantaged students include those whose parents’ income falls below the federal poverty line. That’s $22,350 for a family of four.

Read more
Austin
1:22 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Record Number of Hispanic Children Living in Poverty

Hispanic children now make up the largest group of children living in poverty in the U.S. The Pew Hispanic Center reports more than 6 million Hispanic children were classified as living in poverty last year. That’s more than any other racial or ethnic group. The report said the recession of 2007-1009 hit Hispanic children especially hard. The Center’s Mark Lopez said population growth and high birth rates are also factors.

Read more
Texas
4:02 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

Texas Poverty Grows By 9 Percent In One Year

Photo by The Trucking Tourist http://www.flickr.com/photos/brianlromig/

Almost one in five Texans is living at or below the federal poverty line, according to fresh data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase from 4.26 million in 2009 to 4.63 million in 2010 represents an increase of almost 9 percent.

The federal poverty threshold for a two parent family of two is $22,314 per year.

“That’s a pretty meager existence for families to be able to make ends meet and provide all the basic things we need have a healthy, productive lifestyle,” Center for Public Policy Priorities senior researcher Frances Deviney told KUT News.

Read more