Reporting Kathryn Larson
DETROIT (WWJ) – Community agencies in Wayne County spent the lunch hour tackling a tough question – that for many doesn’t have a clear cut answer.
Monday at Focus:HOPE more than 75 people sat to hear the Data Driven Detroit lecture entitled “How are the Children?”
And the answer was hard to swallow as now more than sixty percent of children living in Detroit live in poverty.
“The children are not well,” said Data Detroit’s Kurt Metzger.
Despite the lower unemployment figures and higher wages, their study shows children are suffering now more than in the last five years in Wayne County.
“The problems of the economy, certainly the unemployment, the high rates of poverty and that’s really influenced a lot of the effects of adequate pre-natal care, in terms of birth weights,” said Metzger.
Dr. Carolynn Rowland with Detroit’s health department says last year more than 35,000 people in Wayne County were cut off from minimal cash assistance, and she says that really hurts the family unit.
“Twenty-five thousand of those were children, so where do families get the resources to pay their housing to pay their utilities, where do they get soap and tooth paste to able to keep their kids clean and send them to school,” said Dr. Rowland.
She says safeguards are not in place and resources are lacking. “We continue to field very large numbers of children. Saying the children are our future … if we believe that our actions would not be what they are.”
Dr. Rowland says prenatal care and child birth rates have also suffered because of the economy. She says current agencies giving assistance are also stretched too thin.
Focus:HOPE looked to create awareness to current resources available to assist the population.
Find more at Focus:HOPE.