More and More People Facing Poverty in the Hub City - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/30/09

More and More People Facing Poverty in the Hub City

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - One paycheck - that's how much experts now say the average family is away from becoming homeless. Unfortunately, Lubbock is no different. A year ago, it was two paychecks.

Thursday on NewsChannel 11 at 10, we told you about the rise in number of those who are homeless in the Hub City. Experts say many of them are single parents and children. We also showed you the pains of trying to beat the street and the reality of living in shelters.

According to the US Census Bureau, 12.9 percent of Lubbock families live in poverty, but at Family Promise's Hope House efforts are underway to change those numbers. For many it comes in the form of new skills and hope. It's also hope that one day they will no longer live in poverty or even worse be homeless.

Sylvia Hartfield has completed part of her college education and has a job but, like many, she still struggles to stay off the streets. "Get back on my feet and at the same time I'm helping some in the same situation I am in," Hartfield said.

Three weeks ago, Hartfield started working in the kitchen at Bridge of Lubbock. However, it's a part time job, and that leaves Hartfield and her two teenage daughters relying on Family Promise for shelter. "I enjoy my job because not only am I homeless but I get to cook for the homeless," Hartfield said.

In the same kitchen, Kids Cafe Executive Chef Tammy Hester helps prepare some 500 meals a days for Lubbock County students. "Once they leave, a majority of these kids the last meal would be between 11 and 11:30 a.m. when they eat their lunch and they might not have anything else to eat after that," Hester said.

In the past year, the number of meals served to students by the South Plains Food Program has increased 36 percent. It's a harsh reality that most students at Parkway Elementary face - 97 percent receive free or reduced lunch.

But Parkway Principal Eddie Fitzgerald says, thanks to the Junior League's Food 2 Kids program, many students have snacks for the weekend. "If you are hungry it's hard to concentrate. If you are hungry, you spend time trying to think about how you are going to have your food have your next meal. So the programs that we have are very beneficial," Fitzgerald said.

According to the 2003 U.S. Census Bureau, when compared to counties our size and larger, Lubbock County is the second poorest county in Texas and the fifth poorest in the nation per capita.

President of the South Plains Homeless Consortium Debby Roddy says family history, lack of education and Lubbock's high number of teen pregnancies fuel the poverty cycle. She adds that some people are not able to make a living on Lubbock wages, all things that costs taxpayers in the end. "They are going to go to the emergency room because they have no medical insurance and no other way to get taken care of. You're going to pay for them because they are not going to graduate from high school,"  Roddy said. They are going to be jobless and unemployable."

That's something Hartfield says she plans never to face again. "My goal is to have a place of my own, to be financially stable and able to take care of my kids. To provide medical care for me and my children and transportation for me and my children," Hartfield said.

Roddy says the solution to homelessness in the Hub City is awareness. She adds more shelters, preventive and intervention programs are also needed.

1/29/09
Number Of Homeless On The Rise In Hub City
The number of those who call the streets of Lubbock home is on the rise. NewsChannel 11's Julia Bruck reports.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • For immigrants, still no word on when they will be reunited

    For immigrants, still no word on when they will be reunited

    Friday, June 22 2018 6:06 AM EDT2018-06-22 10:06:01 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 6:46 PM EDT2018-06-22 22:46:21 GMT
    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip). Jesus Funes, 19-months, cries as his mother, Diva Funes, both immigrants from Honduras, holds him after being escorted back to Reynosa, Mexico, Thursday, June 21, 2018. The family, who was seeking asylum, said they were tol...(AP Photo/David J. Phillip). Jesus Funes, 19-months, cries as his mother, Diva Funes, both immigrants from Honduras, holds him after being escorted back to Reynosa, Mexico, Thursday, June 21, 2018. The family, who was seeking asylum, said they were tol...

    About 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from their families at the border have been reunited since May, a senior Trump administration official says.

    About 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from their families at the border have been reunited since May, a senior Trump administration official says.

  • At least 3 "tender age" shelters set up for child migrants

    At least 3 "tender age" shelters set up for child migrants

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 9:12 PM EDT2018-06-20 01:12:25 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 6:45 PM EDT2018-06-22 22:45:12 GMT
    Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

    Migrant babies and young children are being held in special "tender age" shelters after being taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border.

  • US leaving UN's Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

    US leaving UN's Human Rights Council, cites anti-Israel bias

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 1:21 AM EDT2018-06-20 05:21:04 GMT
    Friday, June 22 2018 6:43 PM EDT2018-06-22 22:43:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018, file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council, cal...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2018, file photo, United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters. Haley says the U.S. is withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council, cal...

    The U.S. is leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley calls an organization "not worthy of its name."

    The U.S. is leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council, which Ambassador Nikki Haley calls an organization "not worthy of its name."

Powered by Frankly