Report: Economic Well-Being Poor for Kids in Oregon

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, June 24 2013 at 6:32 PM, Updated: Mon, June 24 2013 at 9:18 PM

It's a story we unfortunately, keep hearing...Oregon kids continuing to live in poverty.

"I've lived under bridges, I've done it all," said Aaron Dolph who is currently homeless.

Dolph, who's now 21, has been going to the Maslow Project for help since he was 16.

"You should always have a loving house and some of us never got that loving house," Dolph said.

He's one example of the many kids who are growing up and feeling the trickle-down from a struggling economy.

"Our homeless rates continue to be really high. One out of every 10 students in Jackson County is considered homeless," said Mary Ferrell, Executive Director of the Maslow Project.

The new annual Kids Count 2013 Data Book highlights the poverty problem in Oregon. According to new numbers, the state ranks 41st in economic well-being and 32nd out of 50 for overall child well-being. When it comes to how many kids are living in poverty?

"It looks like from the report 27% of children are living in poverty in Jackson County," said Ferrell.

That's worse off than the statewide percentage which stands at 24% and the U.S. rate at 23%. However, Ferrell said there is a bright side.

"The good thing that comes out of knowing this data is that we're able to really intervene and try to gear our programs toward intervention."

It's a move Dolph said he appreciates.

"I feel like there's a least a little hope in Southern Oregon, the Maslow Project and all the outreach projects the have...it's hope for the homeless kids like me."

To find out how you can help, visit www.maslowproject.com. There, you can find a list of what the organization needs. You can also stop by the Maslow Project's building at 500 Monroe Street in Medford. They are open Monday-Friday from 10am-5pm. The Maslow Project's phone number is 541-608-6868.

 

 

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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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