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poverty

Poverty, uninsured on the rise

Poverty is on the increase and income is on the decline, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Tuesday.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 ─ the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 ─ the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published. (See our interactive poverty map

Screen shot of health insurance coverage by state
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Rural poverty presents unique challenges

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess – Brenda MacPeek’s husband used to earn decent money as a long-haul truck driver, making runs all the way out to Colorado.  

But last September, the couple lost their home in Aroma Park, near Kankakee, because they were both out of work. They relocated to a doublewide mobile home in Ludlow, a town of 371 in northeastern Champaign County.

Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - Rhonda Moore, a Ludlow school board member, helped start a food pantry in the rural Champaign County town. Held the fourth Saturday of each month, the pantry has seen demand increase steadily since opening three years ago.
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Shadow Wood: Longtime residents happy with their neighborhood

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - M.L. Ledent doesn’t like it when people ask if she still lives in her trailer.

“I don’t live in a trailer,” the 83-year-old retired nanny and housekeeper tells them. “I live in a mobile home.”

Ledent has lived in the Shadow Wood mobile home park nearly as long as it has existed.

In 1968, a year after the park opened, she and her husband, who died nearly 20 years ago, moved into a three-bedroom mobile home.

In this series

Shadow Wood: A changing neighborhood

Jose Diaz/For CU-CitizenAccess - The Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park has seen many changes during the past two decades, most notably a dramatic increase in its Hispanic population and a reduction in crime.
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Struggling to survive

By Jhane Reifsteck—The town of Longview has faced a high povery rate and loss of business in recent years.

In the 2000 Census, Longview's povery rate was just over 15 percent, with 25 of the 160 residents living at or below the poverty level.

CU-Citizen Access/With less than 200 residents and shrinking business, Longview has one of the highest rate of poverty in Champaign County.
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Community leaders, residents voice concerns about poverty

DANVILLE – Affordable housing, the value of skill versus degree for jobs, social and health safety nets and prompt payments by the state to social-service agencies were some of the topics brought before a public hearing Monday with the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty.

Monday's hearing was meant to gather views from central Illinois residents. Hearings are also scheduled in Chicago on March 8 and Carbondale on April 8.

Pam G. Dempsey/A woman is seen leaving empty tomb inc., taking with her the two free layette sets she picked up for her newborn twin grandchildren in January. Empty tomb inc. is a Christian organization and offers services to people in need of all income levels. A state commission is hosting public hearings statewide to see how to better combat extreme poverty.
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Upcoming hearing to be first step in battling extreme poverty

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty will host a public hearing in Danville Monday as part of a plan to reduce extreme poverty in half by 2015.

The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at The David S. Palmer Arena, 100 W. Main St., Danville. It’s the first of three hearings around the state that are meant to garner input from citizens living in financial hardship.

Pam G. Dempsey/A woman is seen leaving empty tomb inc., taking with her the two free layette sets she picked up for her newborn twin grandchildren in January. Empty tomb inc. is a Christian organization and offers services to people in need of all income levels. A state commission is hosting three public hearings beginning Monday to see how to better combat extreme poverty.
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Graphic: Cost of living in Champaign County

In Champaign County, a family of four can spend an estimated $4,000 a month for basic expenses such as housing, food and childcare, according to calculations by the Social IMPACT Research Center.

CU-CitizenAccess/Source: The Social IMPACT Research Center
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Thousands live on the edge of economic despair in county

After a day of wiping tables and sweeping french fries off the floor of McDonald´s, Kelly Gaddis limps home to the Courtesy Motel on North Vine Street in Urbana.

Gaddis, 53, cannot afford to buy a car or lease an apartment on the $8 an hour he earns as a lobby attendant at McDonald´s. He and his wife, who also works at the restaurant, rent a motel room by the week within walking distance of work.

He also cannot afford the company´s health insurance, so he hasn´t seen a doctor about a foot problem that causes him to limp. Asked what he does when he gets sick, Gaddis chuckles. “You hope you don´t. Or you go to the hospital and when the bill comes, you add it to the rest of them.”
 
The News-Gazette/ Kelly Gaddis and his wife, Kelly, in their home in the Courtesy Motel in Urbana.
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