YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A new study reports Youngstown ranks number one among Ohio cities in child poverty rates.
This means more than half of the children in Youngstown live in poverty.
Out of 248 cities, Youngstown ranks number one. Warren ranks third with a child poverty rate of 55.2% and Campbell comes in tenth at 49.9%.
“What can we do to improve the lives of citizens in Youngstown? Regardless of an outside entity ranking us, we rank ourselves,” said DeMaine Kitchen, Youngstown City Council president. “We know we’re not where we want to be, we know we’re not where we should be…I think something like this reaffirms the need to continue doing the work that we do.”
Kitchen said they know about the issues — it’s the solutions they need to figure out.
“It’s kind of a mental shift that we have to make as a city…We have to get involved in education because when people look to locate, they look at our schools, right? And from a community standpoint, we have to have an all-hands-on-deck approach.”
In Ohio, $25,750 for a family of four, $21,330 for a family of three or $16,910 for a family of two is considered living in poverty.
Studies show children who grow up in poverty face more life challenges, as well as health and mental health issues.
Kitchen said the Youngstown area is making progress and we will soon see the fruits of the efforts made to progress the city.
“I hate that we’re number one on this list of poverty. I’m hoping that we can reverse that trend…In order for this thing to turn around, it’s going to take us reclaiming it…So I think we’re on the right track.”