Poll: Poverty Disproportionately Impacts Cuyahoga County's People Of Color

pages of the Center for Community Solutions study
More black and Latino or Hispanic people in Cuyahoga County had to choose between food and other necessities such as education, transportation and childcare, according to the report from the Center for Community Solutions. [Gayle S. Putrich / ideastream]

Poverty disproportionally impacts Cuyahoga County’s people of color, according to a study released Monday.

The poll, commissioned by the Center for Community Solutions, targeted people with household incomes of $25,000 or less, which is near the federal poverty line.

“On nearly every economic measure, people of color fare worse than whites in Cuyahoga County,” the report detailing the poll’s results says.

Nearly one in five county residents lived in poverty in 2017, the report says. Black people make up less than a third of the county’s population but more than half of those in poverty, according to the report.

People of color are more likely to have to choose between necessities, according to the results. The most common choice is between food and transportation.

The Center for Community Solutions also found people of color were more likely to have difficulty finding a job with convenient hours that fit transportation and childcare needs, said Emily Campbell, the Center’s Associate Director.

“We know that many childcare places are on that 9-to-5 schedule, which doesn’t work for all the jobs that are available, especially ones that may pay lower wages,” Campbell said.

Transportation is a problem for many living in poverty, Campbell said, but low-income Latino, Hispanic, and black residents were more likely to have problems with transportation costs than poor white residents.

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