Our community continues to experience growing economic segregation and need for human services. To understand the weight of this issue and the two distinct Tallahassee’s, you must first understand what’s reality in our community.
Tallahassee is ranked in the top
BEST PLACES TO LIVE
OF LEON COUNTY HOUSEHOLDS
STRUGGLE TO AFFORD BASIC NEEDS**
of LOCAL CHILDREN
are food insecure
in our community cannot read or write well enough to complete a job application
BIG BEND NEIGHBORS
are homeless on any given night
1 IN 6
suffer from a mental or behavioral issue
OF REMAINING HOUSEHOLDS
are only one health emergency or car repair away from a significantly different financial position
*According to the 2019 Liviability.com annual rankings. **According to the 2018 ALICE (ASSET LIMITED,INCOME CONSTRAINED, EMPLOYED) Report. ALICE represents households that earn more than the federal poverty level, but less than the basic cost of living for the county.
These are not stories we tell ourselves to create concern, these are realities that should give each of us pause in understanding the magnitude of poverty and its effects in our beloved city.
In addition to the growing demand on human services to address the adverse effects of poverty, we must also recognize the enormous economic constraints it places on our community as well.
Poverty affects us all. Social problems in the form of inequality, homelessness, crime, educational failure, health inequities, food insecurity and so on, carry a variety of social consequences, but also have staggering economic implications.
Specifically: • Child Poverty is estimated to cost our U.S. economy a minimum of $500 Billion per year in lost earning potential, crime and healthcare related expenses. (Center for American Progress, 2015)
• Lack of educational attainment translates into billions of dollars lost in purchasing power and taxable income when comparing the median annual earnings of a person with no high school diploma ($23,031), 43% less than a person with a bachelor’s degree ($52,484). (U.S. Census American Community Survey, 2017)
• The cost of uncompensated care provided to uninsured individuals was $84.9 billion. This includes health care services without a direct source of payment. Further, the potential economic value to be gained in better health outcomes if all Americans had health coverage is estimated to be between $65 and $130 billion each year. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2013)
• The annual net burden of crime—including costs of incarceration and the legal system, lost wages, costs to victims, crime prevention organizations, lost opportunity costs, fear of being victimized, and cost of private deterrence —is estimated at over $1 trillion. (Concordance Institute for Advancing Social Justice, 2016). Further, the monetary value of saving a single high-risk youth from turning to criminal activity is $1.7 to $2.3 million.
Want to help change the story?
Tallahassee has the creativity, resources, dedication and leadership to create a sustainable community where basic resources are provided and all residents are healthy, educated, safe and live as independently and productively as possible. We ask for your partnership in embracing this vision and supporting solutions required to make sure that this is achieved.
READ OUR STORIES
Read our stories about the individuals that have overcome affordability challenges and disparities by accessing support services from our members.