Enews 1-21-20: Poverty Trends; Point-in-Time Count

Poverty and Income in the Kansas City Region

Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the greater Kansas City region has experienced a steady decrease in overall levels of poverty since 2014. Nearly 1 in 10 residents live in households with income below the federal poverty level (FPL). Additionally, 1 in 4 residents (464,857 people) was low-income, which is defined as income less than two times the federal poverty level in 2018. Communities that have historically had the highest levels of poverty, including Wyandotte County, KS and Cass County, MO, have seen the greatest reductions in poverty. The income required to meet the cost of living in the Kansas City area is significantly higher than the income generated in households experiencing poverty.

To learn more, see our most recent fact sheet: Greater Kansas City Community Profile.

Johnson County Prepares for 2020 Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness

Each year, Johnson County's Continuum of Care on Homelessness (CoC) conducts a count of persons experiencing homelessness in the county to better understand how many are experiencing homelessness, their households' characteristics and identify local gaps in housing and supports. As the CoC's lead agency, UCS annually works with its partner organizations to collect and compile the data to better serve some of the community's most vulnerable households.

In 2020, data will be collected on where households slept on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. The purpose of the Point-in-Time Count is to enumerate the number of persons who slept overnight in emergency shelter, transitional housing, or in places not meant for human habitation (e.g. on the streets, in their car, in abandoned buildings, in temporary camps). Local services organizations and volunteers will be collecting the data Wednesday through Friday, January 29-31. The count is a snapshot of who is experiencing homelessness in the county on one day - their ages, type of households, barriers to housing and employment, and other characteristics. Understanding who experiences homelessness locally assists housing and service providers plan for appropriate services and supports to partner with households to regain safe and stable housing.

Results of the 2019 Point-in-Time Count for Johnson County Homelessness can be viewed here.  To view a short animated video of the 2019 results, click here.

2020 Census - Everyone Counts for the 2020 Census!

Not having a quality, fair and accurate 2020 Census will cost Kansas nearly $4,000 annually for every household undercounted.  Currently, Kansas receives more than $6.05 billion for 55 federal assistance programs that distribute funds based on decennial Census-derived statistics.  Approximately 300 financial assistance programs created by Congress rely on data derived from the Decennial Census to guide the fair distribution of hundreds of billions in funds to states and local areas. (FY 2016 figures. Source: George Washington Institute of Public Policy.)

For more information on the Census and Johnson County's Complete Count efforts, go to Count Me In JoCo.

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