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Study finds Calif. foreclosures have affected child poverty level

August 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The number of children living in poverty in the U.S. is on the rise.

Research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. As a result, 14.7 million children, 20 percent, were poor in 2009. That represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000, when 17 percent of the nation's youth lived in low-income homes.

While California has shown improvements in several categories, the study found that the housing crisis is putting more of the state's children at risk

Nationwide, 4 percent of children were affected by foreclosure since 2007. In California, 7 percent, nearly 1 million children, were affected by foreclosure since 2007

The study ranks the states. New Hampshire topped the list for child well-being, while Mississippi was at the bottom. California ranked No. 16.

Jacob Taylor, 7, lives in a shelter. His mother, Marqueta Bourgeois, earned nearly $2,000 per month working at a bank trying to collect from families facing foreclosure. Then she lost her job. Her monthly income is now $286.

At the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles, Rev. Andy Bales says their intake of families is breaking a record.

"We have fifty families here at the mission, 96 children here," he said. "At Hope Gardens, we have 43 families and 93 children."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.