The new face of poverty? It's your neighbor's

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The new face of poverty? It's your neighbor's

Families much further up the economic ladder are struggling
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Local families who are struggling often cannot afford to purchase a working vehicle or repair one they own, social service providers say. And in rural areas where housing is cheaper but fewer public transportation options exist, the problem is more pronounced.

How you can help: Get to know your neighbors and offer rides or to run errands if you know they have an unreliable vehicle or none at all.

“Transportation is a huge issue in La Plata County, especially for families living in rural areas,” said Liz Mora, executive director of the Durango Women's Resource Center. “Without it, help can be hard to reach.”

Poverty by the numbers

b 9.8 percent of the region's population holds down multiple jobs.
b 8.1 percent of the region's workers are unemployed.
b 2,757 of the region's jobs were lost from 2008 to 2009.
b 2,718 was the average number of La Plata County residents each month receiving federal food assistance in 2009.
b 3,375 La Plata County residents received federal food assistance in December 2010.
b 30 percent of children in Durango School District 9-R receive free or reduced-priced lunches.
b 17,000 meals were provided to local families by the Durango Food Bank during the first nine months of 2010.
b 1,600 households locally received food from the federal commodities program in 2010.
b 42,393 hot meals were served at Manna Soup Kitchen in 2010.
b 482 people were sheltered during the first 10 months of 2010 at the Durango Community Shelter.
b 1,210 families received Salvation Army assistance vouchers in the first 10 months of 2010.
Sources: Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado, Manna Soup Kitchen, Durango Food Bank, Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Children's Campaign, Volunteers of America, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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