WBKO First Alert

The Invisible Poor- Part Two

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"Lord..." I said, "just let this little bit get my children something to eat and let this last through the month. Maybe I'll have enough to get hot dogs, bologna, or bread."

This is the prayer Maryetta France says she prays often in order to feed her children.

France is just one of thousands in South Central Kentucky who, due to circumstances beyond their control, live everyday in poverty.

The mother of three's situation has become so bad that in the past she has gone close to 3 weeks without hardly eating in order to make sure her 2 daughters and 1 son were fed.

"I'll just sit back and as long as they're eating, I fill up my stomach just getting full cause I know my kids is eating."

France is unable to work and recieves disability checks due to serious physical ailments that have plagued her since age 13.

According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate has steadily increased since 2003.

A census report shows nearly 1 in 4 African-Americans in the U.S. live below the poverty line.

That compared to 9 percent of Caucasians and 22 percent of Hispanics.

In order to help relieve the burden for the "poor", there are many organizations and charities aimed at providing job training, better employment opportunities and basic necessities.

In South Central Kentucky, there is a clothing bank called "Annie's Closet" and the Housing Authority has several programs including a family self-suffiency program.

"We have a lot of people come in with no clothes to wear, no food to eat, any clothes for their children, transportation and those things and we try to set aside and help them with that.
We can always find food to eat or at least enough to last them through the month," says Shannon Sales of the Housing Authority.

Meanwhile, France isn't letting her physical pain or lack of money keep her down.

She says she houses many neighborhood kids throughout the year and always tries to give them what she can.

"I might not have much. If I got it, I'm a give it to you. Its' like I say, people come to me to say "You got more kids in your house than anybody."
Thats cause thats the love here".

France's oldest daughter is a high school graduate while her youngest daughter will graduate in May and she still has a son in school.

For more on programs that might be available to you, you can contact the Housing Authority of Bowling Green at (270) 843-6071.


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