Many statistical categories reflect the dramatic level of need in Houston, especially when compared to state-wide averages:  (Kids Count Data Center)

City of Houston Texas
Individuals below poverty 22.2% 17.4%
Children under the age of 18, living in poverty 33.0% 22.0%
  • Harris County has many challenges related to poverty, financial insecurity, and helping persons move toward self-sufficiency. (Center for Public Policy Priorities)
    • 58.9% receive SNAP benefits (food stamps)
    • 18.6% live in “food deserts” (lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers)
    • 45.5% of Harris County consumers have subprime credit
  • In the state of Texas (Prosperity Now):
    • 14.4% of Texans live in extreme poverty (ranked 41st)
    • 30.3% of jobs in Texas are low-wage jobs (ranked 41st)
  • According to the Houston Food Bank:
    • On any given day, 66,000 people in southeast Texas experience the pain of hunger; 5,000 which are children
    • 97% of those served are not homeless
    • 20% of those served are aged 60 or older
    • 66% of food insecure homes have a working adult
  • In 2011-2015, the Texas median household income was $53,207.  (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012-2015 American Community Survey) Yet, a 2-working adult, 2 child family in the Houston area needs an annual income of $60,132 just to get by.*  34% of Houston area jobs do not pay enough for this family to reach the necessary annual inome. (Center for Public Policy Priorities)
    *(housing, food child care, medical, transportation, other necessities).
  • Texas has a higher uninsured rate (16.8%) than the national average (9.1%).  The Lone Star State is the worst in the nation.  This puts significant pressure on local communities to meet families’ needs (Baker Institute for Public Policy)

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