Sussex Countians Combat Poverty - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex Countians Combat Poverty

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 5:44 PM Updated:

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- Politicians and activists are responding after a data analytics website deemed Sussex County as Delaware's poorest county.

24/7 Wall St. says it looked at numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics to make their findings. According to the aforementioned Census Bureau survey, the median income is $54,218 in Sussex County, compared to $55,184 in Kent and $66,283 in New Castle County.

Jim Martin, with homeless outreach group God Goes Digital, says it's a problem he's seen for years.

"Even if you have two to three jobs, it's not enough to pay the rent," he tells WBOC. "The rent is going up and the wages feel like they are going down."

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012-2016 American Community Survey also states that 37 percent of single mothers in Sussex County fall below the poverty line, something Holly Cooper knows all too well.

"It's really, really hard on a mother because you have to take the place of a mother and a father," the homeless mother tells WBOC. "You just got to have patience and set your mind to it."

Cooper, Martin and Seaford Mayor David Genshaw all told WBOC they viewed poverty as an issue that must be combatted by all parties. Genshaw says poverty levels are one of the reasons his city recently implemented right to work legislation.

"It's not a union or non-union issue for us. This is a town that knew what great jobs were and the impact they had on our community and we want those jobs back," he says. "The poverty level I don't think people have done enough on. It's impact on families is critical."

24/7 Wall Street's report also classifies Somerset County as the poorest county in Maryland, with 12.5% of the state's population being under the poverty line and 2.4% of that being from Somerset. 

To view Census Bureau statistics on poverty, click here


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