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Poverty Numbers Declining, But Advocates Say Nearly A Third Of Population Still Needs Assistance

Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies' "State of Poverty 2017" report
A map showing the change in percentage of Ohioans in poverty.

A group that advocates for low-income people has issued its annual report on the state of poverty in Ohio. 

1.6 million Ohioans live in poverty. And while that number has been trending down, the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies says nearly a third of people can’t pay for basic needs and depend on programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized childcare. And the group’s Phil Cole notes those programs are often the targets of cuts and restrictions. “Governments need to quit picking on the poor. They need to realize that sometimes as a society we have a duty to help the least among us, people who are worse off financially. We need to do something for them, not to them.”

Cole also says poverty rates go down as education goes up, but college tuition has gone up while need-based aid has been going down.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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