Study: 184,000 Oregon Children Living in Poverty

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, July 25 2012 at 6:05 PM, Updated: Wed, July 25 2012 at 6:37 PM

Yet another report has come out saying Oregon's kids are worse off than much of the nation's.

"It doesn't surprise me," said Mary Ferrell, Executive Director at the Maslow Project.

She said they've seen more kids needing help, on the brink of homelessness.

"If I don't get a job, I won't have a place to live. I could be sleeping under a bridge basically," said Josh Bodine, a teenager feeling the hit of the bad economy.

"The problem is we don't have the capacity to meet the need," said Ferrell.

The report measured child well-being by taking in factors like economic status, education, health as well as family and community.

According to the study, Oregon ranks 33rd out of 50 states. That's not good, considering we dropped 15 spots since last year.

When it came to economic well-being our state came in at number 41 making the bottom 10 nationally.

The report said in Oregon 184,000 children live in poverty and 315,000 have no stably employed parents.

"It's alarming that Oregon's children are in such a dire state right now that we have so many hungry kids and so many kids with really unpredictable futures," said Ferrell.

Budget cuts aren't making things any easier. State funded resources like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which helps the poorest Oregonians, took a big hit.

More than 50% of funding was cut for job training and placement programs.

"Across the state we're just seeing a lot of families really increasing in their needs and less resources to help them so it's kind of a double whammy," Ferrell said.

According to Ferrell, if there's not an answer in Salem, or Washington D.C. then the solution must come from a community coming together to help.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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