LONGVIEW (KYTX) - The average household in Texas is bringing in about $2,000 less a year than in 2008. That's according to a survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Agencies that help East Texans in need say they're seeing new faces behind the poverty line. People who attended a poverty conference at Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center in Longview Tuesday said job losses and the still struggling economy are taking their toll on families.
"Our workforce, our education, our schools, our churches - it impacts us all," said Aliceson Howell, executive director for Greater Longview United Way. "So we do have to educate the entire community on what the cycle of poverty is and how to get out of it as a community."
According to a professor at LeTourneau University, about one in six children in Gregg County lives below the poverty line.
"If you've tried to make it on minimum wage, you're going to bring home about a thousand dollars a month. That puts you right at the poverty level," said the Rev. Jennene Laurinec, executive director of Newgate Mission in Longview. "If you're on food stamps, you're going to get $31.50 a week. I couldn't feed my family on $31.50 a week, and I challenge anyone to try it."