Poverty Grows In U.S. Suburbs

Poverty has grown in America’s suburbs, but suburban poor are finding it hard to get help, according to Suburbs in Need, a study released on Oct. 7 by the Brookings Institution. One of its co-authors, Scott Allard, an associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago, said, “Few of the suburban communities have a social services infrastructure in place to address the challenges this increased poverty poses.” Existing suburban social service entities are experiencing reduced funding because of state budget shortfalls. The report found that by 2008 the rising number of suburban poor exceeded the number of city poor in the largest U.S. metro areas by 1.5 million. Although the collapse of the housing market and high unemployment are driving suburban distress, “Forty-five percent of providers report substantial increases in the number of clients coming from households where one or both adults are working but cannot earn enough to make ends meet,” Allard said.

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