Poverty Causes and Solutions 89.7 WKSU

With crushing debt engulfing the nation and lay-offs and bankruptcies on the rise, the WKSU News team examines the wide-reaching ramifications of poverty, on individuals, communities and the nation. "Poverty: Causes and Solutions" offers two weeks of news reports during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" that examine the roots of poverty and explore possible solutions.


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Personal Responsibility

Cause?

Americans living in poverty face many obstacles beyond their control which contribute to their circumstances. Political rhetoric concerning poverty has changed over the last decade, placing more emphasis on the personal responsibility of the poor as a solution to poverty. WKSU's Kevin Niedermier looks at some of the personal choices people make that often result in poverty.


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Solution!

The government cannot force citizens to find jobs, or wait until marriage to have children, or even to stay in school. There are governmental efforts to nurture positive behavior, and hopefully, help break the cycle of poverty. WKSU's Kevin Niedermier looks at some things that are being done.


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Housing


Cause?

When the Census Bureau counted homeless people in Northeast Ohio one day last march, they found more than 2,400 in Cleveland and Akron, but those were only homeless that were staying in city shelters, not those on the streets. Experts say the number has been growing this past year and now as many as 34 hundred people a night will sleep in a Northeast Ohio shelter. WKSU'S Mark Urycki reports...


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Solution!

Advocates say a raise in rental prices and a reduction in public housing has forced a squeeze in affordable housing over the past decade. WKSU's Mark Urycki reports that some groups of average citizens are trying to make a difference one family at a time.


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Education

Cause?

Hundreds of children in Northeast Ohio have lived in homeless shelters or some sort of transitional housing over the past year. Many move from place to place. They often lack stability at school as well as at home. WKSU's Julie Grant reports on the special problems of educating homeless children...


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Solution!

Thousands of Ohio children move in and out of homeless shelters each year. That can impact their education. WKSU's Julie Grant shows us how public schools and shelters are working to keep homeless children in school.


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Depression


Cause?

People with low incomes and no insurance are nearly twice as likely as the general population to have psychiatric disorders, according to a new study. WKSU's Vincent Duffy takes a look at how difficult it is for economic programs to assist the poor if the mental illness is not treated first.


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Solution!

Individuals living in poverty are twice as likely as the general population to suffer from depression. Healthcare advocates say for these people, the mental illness must be treated before other social programs can be of any benefit. WKSU's Vincent Duffy reports that many states are looking at a program in Philadelphia as a successful model for treating depression among the poor.


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Gender Wage Gap

Cause?

The War on Terrorism has raised awareness of the plight of oppressed women. The women of Ohio enjoy a degree of social and political empowerment unthinkable to the women of the Third World. But WKSU's Vivian Goodman reports that when it comes to earning a living, Ohio women suffer from one of the nation's worst gender gaps.


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Solution!

Women have made gains in the last twenty years. They're running corporations, starting their own companies and increasing their clout in Congress and State government. Cleveland has a female police chief and school superintendent, and recently elected its first woman mayor. When it comes to earning a living, the majority of Ohio women lag behind their male counterparts. The gender gap is closing...but slowly. WKSU's Vivian Goodman looks at the factors affecting the pace of change.


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Pictured (L to R) are laborer Sabrina Frye and supervisor Rick Arnold at the Cleveland Water Treatment plant on Martin Luther King Boulevard


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