A few dozen people still living in outdoor homeless camps on Savannah’s east side have until Saturday morning to move. Cindy Murphy Kelley, executive director of the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless, says police and city officials are urging the camp residents to move before 8 a.m. Saturday, when heavy equipment will begin preparing the area for construction work. City officials and social service groups have been working for several weeks to relocate more than 90 people living in the wooded area off east President Street.
Fighting poverty, finding new leadership for the police force, and providing job opportunities for Savannah's youth were the key themes of Mayor Edna Jackson's "State of the City" address Tuesday. Speaking in a nearly-full ballroom at Savannah's Civic Center, Jackson said the local economy is recovering. She touted expansions by several local businesses and the city's record-breaking tourism rate last year.
Georgians looking for help staying warm this winter are finding long lines and reduced budgets at assistance programs. Low-income residents can apply for federally-financed home heating through community organizations. Last month's cuts in food stamp benefits led to a record number of applicants for energy assistance.
New figures from the U.S. Census show poverty is rising in Albany’s Dougherty County faster than in any of the state’s largest counties. The county had the nation’s second-highest jump in poverty since 2007, and reflect trends throughout the state.
The number of Georgians living in poverty rose sharply during the Recession, according to census figures released Tuesday. Poverty is also on the rise nationally but the decline in median income is much steeper in Georgia.
Dwindling jobs and the lingering economic slowdown have led to a big jump in the number of Georgians on food stamps. US Agriculture Department officials say, there are now 1.8 million people receiving food stamps in the state, a 42% rise from two years ago. Those numbers leave out people eligible for but not using the benefit.
Georgia ranks in the bottom fifth of states nationwide for overall well being of its kids. The ranking of 42nd takes into account 10 key measures, including low infant birth rates and persistent poverty. The data comes from the annual Kids Count report, put-out by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Although Census poverty numbers won't be out until later this year, the Bureau's statistical surveys suggest officials won't be happy. After spending millions of dollars on anti-poverty programs, Savannah's three-decade-old 22% poverty rate could remain unchanged or increase, according to a Bureau statistical analysis. Officials already have answers.