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I.E. poverty rate growing faster than in L.A.

October 7, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new study shows the suburbs are home to a third of the nation's poor. Many people moved to the Inland Empire for a more affordable lifestyle. But poverty rates in suburban cities, like Riverside, are actually growing faster than in bigger cities like Los Angeles.

It was a busy day at the Salvation Army in Riverside. In fact, volunteers said they can't remember the last time there was such an incredible need for help.

People like Sara Rojas said they have nowhere else to turn.

"Six months looking for a job, and I don't find it. I'm a single mother with my son. It's very hard right now," said Rojas.

Rojas said she never thought she would be in this position.

"I had a lot of goals. I wanted to succeed for my son, and to serve the community, but right now, it's just so hard," she said.

Demand for low-income services has jumped over the years. About three years ago, the storage room at the Salvation Army would've been full of canned goods, but now, it's practically empty.

So why are poverty rates increasing faster in the suburbs? A new study by Brookings Institute showed that the number of people who moved to the suburbs grew much faster than the number of support services made available.

Consequently, while the poverty rate in Los Angeles County has dropped by 13 percent from 2000 to 2008, in Riverside County, the number has jumped by more than 15.5 percent.

"Everybody seems to think that there are jobs out here in this area and they move here with a lower rent cost and there is no jobs, so they're stuck here in need of services," said Clarissa Glasco of the Salvation Army.


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