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Port Orange Observer Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018 11 months ago

Volusia County numbers higher than nation when it comes to households in 'deep poverty'

Individuals in deep poverty are living in households with income below 50% of the Federal Poverty Level.
by: Nichole Osinski Community Editor

Almost 8% of households in Volusia County fall below what the U.S. Census Bureau defines as deep poverty, or individuals living in households with an income below 50% of the Federal Poverty Level, according to the latest 5-year American community Survey estimates. 

The data was presented during the annual Volusia County Human Services Advisory Board where issues such as homelessness, healthcare and education were also discussed. Human Services Manager Clayton Jackson said that the county's deep poverty numbers are a little higher than the nation's, while overall low-income numbers do not fare as well as the state and country. 

"In Volusia County we are a little bit more impoverished than the state and country," Jackson said, adding that around 9% of the households in Daytona Beach fall within that extreme level of poverty. However, Jackson said that there is typically a trend that can be noticed throughout the county in relation to poverty and the areas that usually have higher poverty numbers.  

When it comes to the average medium income for Volusia, 125,908 households have an average family income of $69,065 with median income of $52,950 while Forida's median is $59,139 and the U.S. median is $67,871. 

The report also showed that 15% of the county's population is without health insurance, a little lower than the state average but still higher than the country. 

About 10% of Volusia's population does not have a high school diploma, but Jackson said that the county does offer multiple programs for individuals to work toward their GED. Another program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is currently providing 15% of the county's population with food stamps. 

During a focus group portion of Tuesday's meeting, members discussed what they thought were the top priorities for individuals in the poverty bracket. Members ranked housing as a top priority followed by healthcare and nutrition and food. However, Jackson said that a previous survey had been done where individuals who were in a low-income bracket were asked what they thought were top priorities. 

Those who were asked said that employment and job training were a top priority followed by housing. 

"You're probably looking at a third of Volusia County households being eligible for our services," Jackson said. "That really kind of hits you right there."




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