Poverty

Likely more than 100,000 Illinoisans will lose food stamps under a rule change finalized by President Donald’s Trump administration this week. 

Though the U.S. poverty rate has dropped to the pre-recession level, Illinois has not yet reached that target.

More counties appear on an anti-poverty group’s watch and warning lists this year than last.

Of the state’s 102 counties, 67 are on a watch list — or more serious warning list — created by the research arm of the Heartland Alliance, which works on social issues in areas that include poverty. That’s up from 52 last year.

This year, 14 counties throughout the state made the severe warning list.

For Low Wage Workers Housing is Out of Reach

Mar 19, 2019

An estimated 10,643 people in Illinois are homeless according to federal data. Many of those are working - but still can’t make ends meet.

For the Stephens family, it all began with a landlord who refused to make repairs to their rental home.

“Our roof was a joke,” Jenny Stephens said. “Our roof had a big old huge hole in it, gaping hole. And when it snowed, we had snow in our kitchen.”

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File

Educators from 50 school districts in southern Illinois took part in a training session to learn about strategies to help students suffering from Adverse Childhood Experiences - or ACES.

ACES are trauma or stress children must deal with, such as abuse, divorce, bullying and poverty.

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Heartland Alliance's Social IMPACT Research Center

A social welfare organization says more than half of all Illinois counties are on its poverty-related watch list. 

The Jackson County Board may weigh in on gun legislation in the Illinois General Assembly.

The bills in Springfield include restrictions on the gun buying age, increased waiting periods, magazine bans and gun dealer licensing.

Schools Are Using Poverty Simulations To Build Empathy, But Do They Work?

Feb 21, 2018

About 100 teachers and school support staff spent the better part of three hours inside a junior high school gymnasium in rural, east central Illinois in early January. They were role playing people living in poverty.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a dozen bills late Friday. Among them: House Bill 3211, a measure that would help low-income students qualify for federal SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. Statewide, that amounts to about 40,000 low-income students, says State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford), who sponsored the measure.

Housing
Brad Palmer, WSIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with The Southern Illinoisan reporters Molly Parker and Isaac Smith about their upcoming project featuring the Alexander County Housing Authority, 12 months after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took over.

Building
Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

As we conclude our month long series on poverty in southern Illinois, WSIU's Brad Palmer reports on how poverty and housing issues are inextricably linked.

In southern Illinois most of the landscape is perfect for farming.

In the summer, a lot of the roads look like hallways with corn for walls.

But even surrounded by all of this fresh healthy food, some towns that are surrounded by these fields don’t have access to those fresh foods.

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

WSIU continues its series on Poverty in southern Illinois.  In this installment, we take a look at the link between poverty and education, and how education can fight poverty.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Amy Terpstra, Director of Research for the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance, about the definition of poverty.

Cities in Illinois and across the country have laws regulating panhandling. But courts are tossing them out, and Springfields ordinance could be next. How can local governments balance First Amendment rights and maintaining public order? 

The Illinois poverty rate hovers above pre-recession levels at 14.4 percent, according to Census numbers released Thursday. In all, 1.8 million Illinoisans live in poverty.

Meanwhile, income in Illinois is stagnant even though job growth is up, according to numbers crunched by the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance.

This is likely a consequence of the state’s budget woes, says Kimberly Drew, an economic security specialist at the alliance.

Drew says cuts in social programs because of the budget impasse are likely to worsen the effects of poverty in the state.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Carbondale Interfaith Council President and Sparrow Coalition Facilitator Maurine Pyle and SIU Lecturer Josh Phillips about the "Homeless in Carbondale" Community Forum on June 23.

The Illinois Kids Count 2014 report is out, and it continues to show a gap in the availability of social services for children all over the state.

www.ilpovertyreport.org

A new report puts a spotlight on poverty in Illinois, claiming one-third of the people in the state are in or near poverty.