Meridian Star

Breaking News

New Today

November 18, 2013

Coast sees an increase in poverty percentage

BILOXI, Miss. — The percentage of families living below the poverty line in South Mississippi is on the rise. That's according to the latest numbers released from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

In Hancock County, where the numbers from 2007-09 showed 11.6 percent of families were living in poverty and that percentage nearly doubled to 20.9 in the 2010-12 survey.

"Am I surprised? No," Lisa Cowand, Hancock County Board of Supervisors president, told The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1dMlupH). "The domino effect has got to stop."

Cowand said she thinks the need in Hancock County is a complicated issue, but one factor is jobs.

"The jobs are limited, there's no question about that," she said. "But we have great opportunity for jobs to grow in Hancock County and I think they will, I hope they will."

Cowand said the WIN Job Center in Waveland, which was the only one in Hancock County, was closed several months ago because of budget cuts, further snowballing the problem.

"Now you take a desperate person who's out of work looking for money, and he doesn't even have a spot to go sit down face-to-face with someone and talk about it," Cowand said, adding library computers are available to those who need to apply for jobs online. "But a lot of these people aren't computer literate to start with; they need a face."

Cowand said the smaller community size might be to blame for the dramatic increase.

"It's a national problem, it's just more prevalent because we're a smaller community," she said. "We're smaller and we feel the effects much more dramatically."

The three-year estimates represent surveys from 2007-09 and 2010-12.

In Harrison County, 12.3 percent of families were living below the poverty line for the 2007-09 survey, and 16.4 percent were counted in 2010-12. In Jackson County, the percentage went from 10.5 in 2007-09 to 11.8 percent in 2010-12.

The increased percentage of people living with less in Harrison County came as no surprise to Wayne Elias. As assistant director of Feed My Sheep in Gulfport, he has been providing hot meals for the needy since 1984.

"We're seeing more and more people now," Elias said. "We're seeing a big increase, a lot of people that are homeless, a lot of people that don't make enough money and they're having a tough time."

 

1
Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Mississippi could borrow $20 million to help Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. update its factory in Tupelo. In return the company would pledge to maintain at least 1,300 jobs and invest $140 million in the plant. Do you think this is a good investment on the state's part?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide