GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Since 1929, the U.S. dollar has appreciated %1,687 – prices today are nearly 18 times higher than prices back then, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some could argue it’s economically harder to survive now than during the Great Depression. Supervisor of the Mesa County Cash Assistance Program Shelley Flesher helps more than 300 families in Mesa County not able to keep up with inflation.
D51 REACH program coordinator Margarie Brennan tells us, “During the 2023 school year, District 51 identified 907 students from approximately 452 families who were experiencing temporary or transitional housing, which is a primary indicator of poverty.”
Flesher adds kids feel the effects of poverty-stricken homes more than some might think, causing several to start working at a younger age and taking extra care of siblings so parents can work.
She says she can attest to the fact that housing is truly the number one obstacle for most families she works with.
Flesher tells me in 2020, the Cash Assistance Program helped more than 500 people, a number which has declined for that group. But for Michelle Trujillo, manager at Grand Valley Connects, she is seeing an increase in clients.
The American Families Act lifted 2.9 million children out of poverty. September 13th, Colorado’s U.S. Senator Micheal Bennett and others met to highlight an expected rise in childhood poverty. They are urging lawmakers to restore the child tax credit.