Children & Poverty Forum

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

The West Virginia Senate Select Committee on Children and Poverty held a forum in Parkersburg Tuesday, and State Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley wanted to hear the voices of children affected.

After taking testimony from the public, the committee gathered in a circle to discuss the challenges presented.

Stella Moon, adolescent health coordinator for RESA 5 says the committee is crossing the state and Wood County was one of the stops.

“They’re talking to individual communities because poverty here may be different from poverty in the eastern and southern part of the state or even the northern panhandle and central West Virginia,” Moon says.

One in three children live in poverty in the Mountain State.

“It's not necessarily the stereotypes of a family who isn't working and the parents aren't working; maybe they are substance abusers,” Moon says. “It could be the family where both parents are working at above minimum wage job but they are falling between the cracks.”

Moon says it's because they don't qualify for federal or state assistance, so these families barely make ends meet.

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