(9) Another suburb living in the past: Nashville’s Brentwood

Nashville, TN from Wikimedia Commons/Terraprint


Usually
where there is a homeless population of any size there will appear at least one weekly charity newspaper sold by the homeless and focussing on that issue.  The idea is to restore some measure of positive socio-economic activity to the life of people in severe difficulty.  In Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville, the police have apparently cited individuals for selling a paper called The Contributor.  I thought they had a Constitution down there?

With a monthly circulation of about 115,000, The Contributor has more than twice the circulation of any other homeless paper in the U.S. and Canada…

(8) Child poverty soars in suburbs [2008 CAS report]


Children’s Aid Society of Toronto released a report at the end of 2008 that makes for alarming reading.  Really, child poverty is the worst kind.  It would seem that Canada is not exactly like some small Scandinavian country with zillions of Krona to spend on sensitively applied, boutique social programs.  Too bad if you live in suburban poverty, huh?

In areas such as Mississauga, Markham, Richmond Hill and Oakville, child poverty rates have soared since 1990, closing in on levels once isolated to downtown Toronto, says the report, which used census data from 2006.

(6) Infographic: Vancouver

Downtown East Side normally leaps to mind when considering poverty in Vancouver, Canada’s Pacific Rim big city.  If you’ve ever seen that neighbourhood for yourself anytime in the last few decades then the reference is all too understandable.  Unfortunately, Vancouver is now seeing some of the movement of poverty that Toronto is.  In January, 2011 the Globe and Mail published a map detailing this change using Statistics Canada census data for 1971 and 2006.
Pockets of poverty are arising in the suburbs of Vancouver while prosperity is popping up in the DES    

(3) A place called Mississauga

Created in 1974, Mississauga is a vast Edge City in the western part of one of North America’s largest city-suburb agglomerations.  For decades there it was all about growth, growth, growth.  Now, the buzz has begun to wear off a bit, especially in areas with older high rise buildings.  This article from the Globe and Mail, a relatively conservative newspaper for its century-or-so of existence, encapsulates the dawning of an awareness of post-growth issues, including poverty.  Targeting priority neighbourhoods for social spending, as is done in Toronto, has begun to get support.  The tagline of the City of Mississauga is ‘Leading Today for Tomorrow.’  We’ll see what that means soon enough!
Poverty hides in the suburbs: will ‘priority neighbourhoods’ help?

(1) Welcome to suburban-poverty.com!

Where to start?  Well, a lot of this business began with things we felt intuitively, observed, experienced, read about, and talked about but had difficulty fully articulating.  When the economy crashed in 2008 this process of puzzling over what is around us became all the more vexing.  Coming across two major papers from the Brookings Institution led to a bit of a ‘Eureka’ moment, made things ‘official’, as it were.  Statistical evidence that suburban poverty is increasing in the United States (with implications for Canada and elsewhere) is on the table now, apparently for good.  Evidence in Canada is available, worrisome, growing in detail and getting harder to ignore.  Proof that a major change is under way in social conditions on this continent.

The Brookings Institution is a major, centre-of-spectrum think tank in Washington, DC.  It was established in 1916 and addresses a wide variety of public-interest topics.

This link takes you to a download location for the report:
By 2008, suburbs were home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country.