poverty

Philip Alston wanted to know: Just how bad is poverty in the United States?

He's an Australian law professor who in 2014 was appointed as a United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He contacted the Obama administration before the presidential election to get permission to undertake a fact-finding mission in the United States. The Trump administration honored the invitation.

LBJ Library/public domain

Law professor Philip Alston is a United Nations expert on extreme poverty. In his position as a U.N. Special Rapporteur  he reports on places where pervasive poverty and human rights issues intersect, places such as Haiti, south Asia and central Africa. His latest work, however, is taking him to parts of the U.S., including the Ohio Valley.

Becca Schimmel | Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley region has disproportionately high numbers of seniors and people living with disabilities and on low incomes - those are all groups that frequently depend on public transit. Without transit, older people lose independence, and reaching a doctor or workplace becomes much harder. A new report finds that demand for transit in rural areas is climbing faster than in cities, but spending on rural transit is not keeping pace with demand.

Marek Szucs, 123rf Stock Photo

Two Kentucky agencies are among 32 organizations nationwide benefiting from almost $17 million in federal funding to help low income-citizens buy fruits and vegetables. 

Young guys in dusty polo shirts. New moms holding their babies. Grandmas in bright head wraps. They've all gathered in a clearing for one of the village meetings when something remarkable happens. Practically every person's cellphone starts tinkling.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is standing by his controversial comment that poverty is a "state of mind," but he says that "how a person thinks" is only one component that contributes to being poor.

"What I said is that it is a factor. A part of poverty can be the state of mind," he told NPR in an interview. "People tend to approach things differently, based on their frame of mind."

His agency, he says, wants "to find ways to make sure that people understand that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you, is you."

Robert McGraw, WOUB

The true costs of the deep cuts in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would fall disproportionately on many of the poor and working class people in the Ohio Valley region who helped to elect him, according to lawmakers and policy analysts.

One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.

Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle but the lines of people seeking help remain long.

On the south side of Dallas, Nena Eldridge lives in a sparse but spotless bungalow on a dusty lot. At $550 each month, her rent is just about the cheapest she could find in the city.

After an injury left her unable to work, the only income she receives is a $780 monthly disability check. So she has to make tough financial choices, like living without running water.

Aaron Payne | Ohio Valley ReSource

By most measures, health outcomes in the Ohio Valley region are not very good, with many parts of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia ranking near the bottom among states. But a team of health researchers may have found a few places within the region that stand out. They see them as potential “bright spots” — places with some health measures better than expected for the region. 

Now the researchers want to know why these communities fare better and whether the lessons can be applied elsewhere.

Pages