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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Nearly half a million children in Michigan are living in poverty

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Roughly 1 in 5 children are still living in poverty in Michigan according to the 2019 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book released on Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy--here is Alicia Guevara Warren from the organization. 

“If we look at families with low income which are typically  measured around 200 percent of the federal poverty level which is less than $50,000 dollars a year for a family of four about 41 percent live in a family with low income.”

And Joyce Rohrer from the Source, a local employer funded organization to help employees navigate barriers, says that when a family is experiencing poverty they are not always able to predict what tomorrow will look like.

“You know how you are going to get to work tomorrow, how your kids are going to get to school, you are not worried about what they are going to eat for dinner, and you have the social and emotional supports in your life where you feel confident and can think about your goals, and your longterm plans for your family.” 

Many of the families Roehr works with are dependent on supports from the state to make ends meet. 

“So if somebody’s wages go up, the support that they are receiving from the state doesn’t match that, so if people are making more money they might be losing benefits are a greater rate.  

And while the data shows that the number of children in poverty has decreased by 20 percent, the results so far also demonstrate that being a kid of color means a higher chance of experiencing poverty in Michigan. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News. 

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