poverty

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.

Benny Becker | Ohio Valley ReSource

Drinking water from the tap is an exercise in trust that most of us take for granted. But in Martin County, Kentucky, prolonged problems with the water system have many residents worried that their health is at risk. Benny Becker of the Ohio Valley ReSource has the story of how a community in coal country lost faith in both their water and their government. 

belchonock, 123rf Stock Photo

Justice reform groups have filed a lawsuit over a Tennessee law they say punishes the poor by revoking driver's licenses due to unpaid court fines.

Trumped: Coal’s Collapse, Economic Anxiety Motivated Ohio Valley Voters

Nov 21, 2016
Robert McGraw, WOUB

The electoral map of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia is a sea of red with a few islands of blue. Of the 263 counties in the three states only nine went for Hillary Clinton, most of them around the region’s cities.

The Ohio Valley ReSource looked to voters and voting data to learn more about what motivated Donald Trump’s supporters and what they hope he will do as president.

123rf stock photo

  The Kentucky Association of Food Banks is reporting an increase of people coming to their food pantries. KAFB executive director Tamara Sandberg said they saw 56% of their member banks report an increase in 2015.  Sandberg said winter is the KAFB's busiest season,  and  that the dropping temperatures force families in need to make some hard choices. 

More Americans are making more money.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new numbers on Tuesday showing that, after a brutal economic recession and years of stagnation, real median household incomes rose from $53,718 in 2014 to $56,516 last year. That's a 5.2 percent rise — the first statistically significant increase since 2007.

But, as NPR's Pam Fessler notes, "the median household income was still lower than it was in 2007."

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