Poverty

As holiday donations kick off with this Giving Tuesday, we're going to bring up an aspect of contributing to charity that makes a lot of us ... uncomfortable.

We're talking about the idea that every time we divvy up our money among good causes, we're making a moral judgment: Who is most deserving of our help and which outcomes are most valuable?

DAVID SANTIAGO / MIAMI HERALD

The gap between the richest and the poorest U.S. households is now the largest it's been in the past 50 years — despite the median U.S. income hitting a new record in 2018, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The percentage of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods in Florida has decreased 8 percent since the Great Recession, according to a new study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The U.S. poverty rate declined slightly last year, but finally fell below the 2007 level, right before the Great Recession pushed millions of Americans out of work and into financial distress.

The improving economy was a key factor in the decline. The U.S. Census Bureau noted in its annual report on income and poverty that there were 2.3 million more full-time, year-round workers last year and that median earnings for all such workers rose by more than three percent.

The Trump administration's proposal to push millions of people out of the federal food stamp program would punish some of the country's neediest, including children, seniors and people with disabilities, according to mayors of 70 American cities who have sent a letter to an administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Trump administration is considering changing the way the government measures poverty, which has anti-poverty groups worried that many low-income individuals will be pushed off assistance programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start.

The possible change would involve adjusting the poverty line annually using a different inflation measure, one that would result in a slower increase over time.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

The women’s worried conversations about paying utility bills, scraping together enough change to pay for transportation and pawning jewelry to pay for medical treatment seemed at odds with the designer purses at their well-clad feet.

For the organizers of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s poverty simulation at B’Nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, that was the point.

united way of Broward county
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Half of all households in Broward County can't afford basic necessities, like housing, transportation, healthcare and childcare, according to a new report. 

These ALICE families — which stands for Asset Limited - Income Constrained and Employed — are either living in poverty, or close to it, and don't have savings. 

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Thousands of homeless residents across Florida have been arrested in recent years on charges of asking for money in public spaces without government authorization. A lawsuit filed this month by the Southern Legal Counsel alleges that those thousands of arrests are violating the First Amendment -- a stance that has previously been upheld by U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Florida.

Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs last year, including paying for food, health care, housing or utilities.

Joe Cavaretta / Sun-Sentinel

A controversial city of Fort Lauderdale ordinance banning the sharing of food with homeless residents in a city park was dealt a blow by a federal appeals court Wednesday. The decision declared food sharing as protected by the First Amendment, and sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether the city violated the right to free speech.

The lower court had previously sided with the city.

holding hands
Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

Over the past two years, The Community Foundation of Broward has awarded 16 grants totaling $800,000 to local nonprofits to bring relief to residents who are struggling financially. 

Now the foundation is accepting a new round of applications to fund programs that promote economic independence. 

Daniel Rivero / WLRN News

Javier Vizoso knew that he was going to move to Miami at some point. But the one-two punch of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the island of Puerto Rico last September accelerated his decision.

What kind of year will 2018 be?

Our blog covers global health and development, so we're not going to make any predictions about North Korea or Middle East peace or who will design Meghan Markle's dress.

What we do have to offer: prognostications about a variety of issues, including the fight to wipe out polio, the dark side of drones and the #MeToo movement.

Wild polio will be finished by June, but cases caused by vaccine won't

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