YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new report detailing the state of poverty in Ohio was released Monday.
The report, State of Poverty in Ohio 2021 looks at counties and the state overall in a number of measures. The situation across the tri-county area is mixed, including good scores and bad scores.
Ohio’s poverty rate is 13.1%, which is higher than the 12.3% percent across America. The report found that COVID-19 has played a huge role in disrupting homes.
“People who were in the process of being stabilized, a lot of that got disrupted. Losing their jobs, and even being sick themselves.” Said Shelia Triplett, executive director of MYCAP.
Ohio looked at four indicators for this report, comparing how counties did with them in the past, and how they’re doing with them now.
Mahoning County is among nine across the state which had worse scores and received a Level 4 rating on a well-being dashboard. COVID took away many people’s ability to pay bills and support their families.
“That foundation has kinda been eroded, and we’ve got a lot of people who are seeking assistance from us now that never did in the past,” Triplett said.
Trumbull County was at Level 3, while Columbiana County had one of the state’s best scores and is Level 1.
Mahoning County struggled with its number of people living in poverty and its unemployment rate.
That’s one area where MYCAP has been focusing, setting up a partnership with Flying High to help remove barriers to people getting a job.
“The main thing that we’re doing is the employment and doing the stabilization to get them in a place where they can not only get a job but keep that job,” Triplett said.
One benefit families are receiving right now is the Child Tax Credit. The first check was distributed last month and Triplett knows many homes spent the money on food and school clothes.
“I think it’s an amazing thing for these families, but I’m also concerned if they’re not in a good place at the end of the year, what will happen then,” Triplett said.
Ohio had 30 counties with the best score like Columbiana County.