Monday, March 29, 2010

Poverty increases in GCASA's service areas

The New York State Community Action Association has came out with its New York State Poverty Report in February, 2010. Since GCASA serves mostly poor people primarily in Genesee and Orleans Counties in its treatment programs, it is worth taking a look at some of the data.

New York State has the highest poverty rate among the Northeastern states and ranks as the 17th poorest state in the nation.

Child poverty rates in Buffal, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica are at astonishing levels with 40% of children in those cities living below the poverty line.

Almost 50% of families in poverty are headed by single women.

28% of New Yorkers living below the poverty line do so in spite of being employed.

People of color are the most poor with 1 in 5 African Americans, 1 in 4 Latinos, and 1 in 10 Caucasions.

Over 2.6 million New Yorkers under 65 do not have health insurance.

At the county level 12.3% of people in Genesee County or 12.3% live below the poverty line. 16.9% of children live in poverty along with 9.9% of seniors.

The percentage of families in poverty headed by women is 54.6%. 14.1% of the population has no health insurance.

Median income in the county is $48, 509 and the unemployment rate is 7.1% but the % of poor unemployed is 29.8%.

In Orleans county 12.9% of the population lives in poverty and 15.7% of children, and 6.5% of seniors. 14.3% of the population has no health insurance.

The Median income in Orleans County is $47,313, and the unemployment rate is 8.2%, but of the % of the people who are poor it is 32.8%.

The unemployment rate month the poor is higher now than during the Great Depression.

GCASA is serving primarily working and lower class people who struggle with poverty. It is hard to discern whether substance abuse aggravates poverty or whether poverty aggravates substance abuse. Substance is one way of coping with stress. People with resources have more of a buffer against the negative consequences of substance abuse while poor people are more likely to become caught up in the criminal justice and welfare system.

No comments: