42 percent of Alexandria boys 12-14 live below poverty line

42 percent

In 2009, 9.9 percent of Alexandria residents had income below the poverty level, which is about $22,000 in annual income for a family of four. 5.3 percent of Alexandria residents had income of 50 percent or less than the poverty level ($11,000 dollars or less). Although these figures are close to state averages, poverty rates for Alexandria's young people are much higher, and are far above state averages.

By the numbers:

  • 42 percent of Alexandria boys 12-14 years old, and 42 percent of girls 16-17 years old, are in families with income below the poverty line
  • The Virginia state averages in these categories are between 10-15 percent

And about 10 percent of all Alexandria residents between ages 15-24 are in families with income of 50 percent or less than the poverty level. All Alexandria statistics are from city-data.com and based on U.S. Census data.

Poverty is pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions. It includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity. Poverty also encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life (World Bank, Poverty and Inequality Analysis)

Poverty in Alexandria is a comprehensive syndrome which falls hardest on our young residents, and whose impact on young people is much more severe than in other parts of the state. Many organizations in Alexandria work to combat poverty’s wide-ranging effects. Here are a few of the groups doing great work in our community:

  • ALIVE!

ALIVE! serves thousands Alexandrians annually with shelter; low-cost early childhood education and childcare; financial help for rent, utilities, medical care and other critical needs; emergency food; and deliveries of donated furniture and houseware.

Founded in 1973, Christ House provides food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, and clothing to those in need. Christ House helps individuals recognize their abilities, develop self-sufficiency, and maintain their self-respect. It offers limited assistance to individuals needing help to pay their rent, utility bills, prescription bills, and other expenses.

  • The Child & Family Network Centers

Our mission is to provide caring, high-quality free education and related services to at-risk children and families in their own neighborhoods to prepare and empower them for success in school and life.

  • Hopkins House

The mission of Hopkins House is to provide quality educational programs and opportunities to children, youth, and their families, regardless of income, to help them achieve, in measurably effective ways, their full intellectual, economic, and social potential.

Comments

It is a worrying fact that such a huge percentage of boys live below poverty line below poverty line. In view of this, not only the governmental agencies but also the nonprofits should come forward in a big way to ameliorate the woes of this section of the society. dining room furniture los angeles

A relevant question is why affluent families decide not to raise children in Alexandria.  As a young single person, I live in Alexandria -- but I know that as my friends and I have children, we will leave for Fairfax, Prince William, Loudon, counties. Another good question is how to convince people to not have children until they are financially prepared to support them.  Preferably, in a two-parent family.A final question is whether a low household income is an only risk factor for a child.  For example, in a two parent household where one parent is making minimum wage, and the second parent is home managing the household finances, budget, learning about and taking advantage of city services, as well as providing infinitely valuable close human attention to the child -- things might not be so bad.  (This was my experience as a child -- I'm now an PhD engineer living a happy and fulfilling life :)I know these children need help -- but frankly at age 12, a lot of their development is already set.  At this point, it is the choices they will make that will define their lives. 

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