22
Apr
08

poverty in the burbs

The Daily Herald recently published a study on poverty in the ‘burbs.’ With this growing reality, my question is…how does the Christian Church in the ‘burbs’ respond especially in light of Jesus’ “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” statement?

Here’s an exerpt of that published report…

Between 1980 and 2006, the poverty rate increased by 91 percent in suburban Cook County and by 26 percent in the collar counties. The poverty rate in Chicago grew by a more modest 4 percent.  The suburbs now account for 42 percent of the region’s poor population, up from 24 percent in 1980.  For a family of four, the federal government defines poverty as living on less than $21,200 a year. The figure varies for families of different sizes.

“One of our most dramatic findings was that the number of people who are poor has grown dramatically in the suburbs,” said Amy Rynell, who co-authored the report. “There’s a lot more dispersion of people with low incomes.”  “People want to work,” said Maureen Murphy of Lake County Catholic Charities. “Very few people are on welfare roles any longer, but they’re still experiencing poverty. Working at Burger King, you can’t afford housing.”  One-third of all jobs in northeastern Illinois are low-wage service jobs, the study said. These minimum-wage jobs have replaced high-wage service and manufacturing jobs, a recent report by Northern Illinois University found.

Indeed, between 2000 and 2006, median annual household income in real dollars declined by $4,877 in Cook County, $8,470 in DuPage, $8,077 in Kane, $5,871 in Lake, and $6,498 in McHenry, the study found.  Meanwhile, the prices of vital household necessities escalated exponentially. Food costs increased by 15.4 percent, medical care by 31.2 percent, energy by 60 percent and gasoline by 93 percent.

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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

Ok...so you've located the place where I put down my random thoughts. The key word here is random: music, sports, art, food, books, news, spiritual musings, weird stories, etc. I'm especially interested in how everyday experiences of life intersect with the ancient stories of Scripture. Thanks for reading.
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