1 in 5 in suburbs in or near poverty dailyherald.com
Report on Illinois Poverty Social Impact Research Center/Heartland Alliance
image: 1855 state map by JH Colton via Wikimedia Commons
Just as the smokestack and the skyscraper symbolized a particular kind of economic development so did the corporate campus. These were all the rage for decades, groupings of commercial buildings deployed amid greenery and reached mainly by car. The corporate campus was chosen by high technology industries in particular with the example of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington known internationally. The corporate campus first took root near the larger, older centres and were eventually replicated all over North America. They seem to have served their owners well enough in their day, allowing firms to secure, centralize and rationalize their operations on greenfield sites beyond busy and expensive cities. They were seen as a way to control real estate and operational costs and as enhancers of corporate culture and performance. Some were plunked down in urban areas, others are suburban with yet others built in the middle of nowhere. Now the business campus has come in for a timely rethink. The idea going forward seems to be not to fully segregate places of work from places of residence. This reduces transportation costs and stress for workers which also goes a little lighter on the environment. The result is healthier and easier for everyone.
NYT piece looking at planning efforts in Hartford, CT which add residential uses to a large corporate office corridor
photo: JonRidinger via Wikimedia Commons
Latest US numbers for job creation are actually pretty good according to mainstream media. Seen against the oft-mentioned-around-here 2010 US Census the Americans still have an ordeal ahead of them in regard to people and the economy. Here is a piece from Chicago with nothing missing from the picture of suburban poverty.
Lack of jobs leaves more suburban, middle class sliding into poverty
If you came by looking for some serious depth-of-treatment regarding suburban poverty you could do much worse than giving up ninety or so minutes to Scott W. Allard from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration. He points out that suburban poverty is not just driven by outward movement of people but exists for its own local reasons as well. Professor Allard is working on a new book. We’re probably gonna read it.
Places in need
A report from public station WTTW profiles tough times in DuPage County, Illinois. An official describes poverty there as having “exploded.” Some 60,000 people in DuPage County meet US federal government criteria for being poor, an increase of some 185%. Those profiled in this piece represent the so-called “newly” poor. A teacher and a nurse, slipped from situations of relative privilege sadly demonstrate the findings of the 2010 US census. Mentioned here a number of times already the 2010 census will enter the American historical record as a profound document of social change and social difficulty. Will the suburbs ever bounce back? Or will they just turn into something else completely?
Chicago Tonight: Suburban Poverty 9:00
Photo credit: barmik via Wikimedia Commons
Whoever wrote the headline for the item linked below maybe needs to pay more attention to the world. Suburban poverty is not a secret. Still, this is a good piece. The item mentions 2010 US Census data which strongly underlined the shift in the fortunes of the suburbs, underway since well before the crash of 2008. The author also visits a food bank in Illinois. Food banks and food pantries are among the places where the rubber really hits the road as far as ascertaining the true state of a community.
“Last year, there were 2.7 million more suburban households below the federal poverty level than urban households, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the first time on record that America’s cities didn’t contain the highest absolute number of households living in poverty. There are many reasons for the dramatic turnabout in the geographic profile of poverty.”
America’s Best Kept Secret: Rising Suburban Poverty
American state and municipal governments have seen their finances pounded since 2007. That’s a bad development for everyone because those are the levels of government the most number of people are the closest to. When we read items like the one below from Governing we get a detailed sense of how tough things can be. Again, the communication difficulties and costs associated with doing business in the suburbs make the delivery of health and social services all the more problematic. There’s also a cultural dimension that goes underappreciated. It seems that people with middle class assumptions often adjust poorly to hard times and lack even basic knowledge of where to go to get help when they hit the skids.
Poverty comes to the suburbs: poverty is encroaching on suburban enclaves — even the most affluent of them. Many are ill-equipped to meet the new social-service needs.
For most of us, urban street people are generally what comes to mind when we hear the word homeless. People without secure and reasonable access to permanent places to live populate the suburbs in growing numbers. They are just less readily visible. They can include ‘couch-surfing’ young people, tent campers living alongside rivers or in woodlots and people in shelters or living in a motor vehicle. They are hard to count and hard to bring services to.
“Suburban homelessness has its own set of challenges. Suburbs often lack public transportation, shelters, and government assistance agencies. By far the largest hurdle the suburban homeless have to overcome is that they are not supposed to exist.”
Last refuge for the homeless: living in the car