Report: More Than 25 Percent of Harrisonburg Kids Living in Poverty

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email
Location Percentage of Children Living in Poverty
Harrisonburg 26.7%
Staunton 24.7%
Waynesboro 24.9%
Rockingham County 14.4%
Augusta County 13.5%

 

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The number of children living in poverty in Harrisonburg has reached its highest level in more than a decade. Currently, more than one out of four kids living in the city live in poverty. This problem is affecting other parts of the Valley as well.

Locally, the children's poverty rates are higher than the state average of 15.5 percent, according to the new 2014 Kids Count Data Book, an annual report on how kids are faring in the United States.

However, the book ranks Virginia as the ninth best state in the country, when accounting for multiple factors.

For Harrisonburg, its 26.7 percent race is the city's highest percentage going back all the way to 1997, when Kids Count started releasing the numbers every year.

Major Hank Harwell, with the Harrisonburg Salvation Army, said it's a need that never goes away.

"It's tough on the kids because they're trying to go to school, they're trying to get an education. Many of them obviously want to rise above where they are. They always want to better themselves. So we want to make sure they have the tools, the opportunities, they need to accomplish those goals," said Harwell.

While Waynesboro has 24.9 percent of children living in poverty, according to Kids Count, that's actually down from the previous two years. Last year, that number was 28 percent.


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