More than 16,000 people in Delaware County live at or below the federal definition of poverty. Twice that number struggle to make ends meet. The numbers are dismal:
- To afford a two-bedroom apartment, a worker needs to earn at least $12.00 an hour working 40 hours a week, 52 week a year. At minimum wage this equates to nearly 2.5 full-time wage earners, or one full-time earner working more than 90 hours per week.
- More than 30% of single-headed female households in the country living in poverty.
- In Muncie Community Schools, 62% of all children qualify for free and reduced lunch.
- At least $1.4 million in food stamps are distributed to Delaware County residents every month.
- Nearly 35% of older adults in Delaware County live in homes in needs of repair.
- Approximately 600 homeless people live in Delaware County each year.
With loss of the manufacturing base and cutbacks in services to the poor, the growing group of those living in poverty is expanding quickly. Many outstanding current services and models help people manage their poverty, but few do anything to help them get out of poverty.