Poverty

Hundreds of people arrive for a mobile food distribution site.
Margie Menzel / WFSU News

The number of Floridians living in poverty has fallen since the Great Recession. But it’s still higher than the national average. According to federal data 14 percent of Floridians had incomes below the poverty line. The figure is closer to 12.3 percent nationally. WFSU is taking a look what it means to live below the state poverty line, or in some cases, right on the edge of it.

Workers and volunteers help sort and stock a Tallahassee food bank.
Margie Menzel / WFSU News

The number of Floridians living in poverty has fallen since the Great Recession. But it’s still higher than the national average. The federal government has released two reports showing about 14 percent of Floridians had incomes below the poverty line. 

Jaro Larnos via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlarnos/

Florida lawmakers want to tighten the rules for low-income families getting cash assistance. A bill moving in the House would withhold benefits longer for those who don’t meet work requirements. 47,013 Florida families are enrolled in the program, as of October 2017.

Dan Dickinson via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/remydwd/42389747/

The City of Tallahassee is opening up a temporary cold night shelter this week as temperatures drop below freezing. But even with the extra space, some people in need of stable housing won’t make it inside. 

Hamza Butt via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/149902454@N08/35417680152/

Florida State University graduate assistants are negotiating for more generous benefits. The effort comes after the administration cut healthcare coverage for the children and spouses of grad assistants. 

Regan McCarthy WFSU News

The FBI is investigating Tallahassee’s Community Redevelopment Agency, while questions of cronyism swirl around city hall. The state’s CRAs missed the chopping block this legislative session, despite previous reports of mismanagement. WFSU looks into how the agencies’ loose structure is fueling their current predicament.

Jaro Larnos via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jlarnos/

Floridians in need can now use a mobile app to locate food banks and support services across the state. 

Charlotte90T via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlotte90t/

Many Tallahassee residents don’t live in walking distance of a grocery store or garden, especially in the city’s Southside. But the closing of the Winn Dixie on Paul Russell Road could be an opportunity for urban farmers.

The Accent via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/theaccent/4030077886/

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is filing suit against a ban on panhandling in downtown Pensacola. The organization argues the rule is a threat to first amendment free speech.

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
State of Florida

State Senator Jeff Brandes, a Republican  from St. Petersburg,  wants to reduce the number Floridians who get their drivers licenses suspended because they can’t pay fines.

United Way
United Way of the Big Bend

A new report from United Way shows nearly half of Florida’s households are struggling to make ends meet. United Way officials say their measurement tool called the ALICE Threshold gives a clearer image of poverty in the state.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/540936323/in/photolist-PNrwk-5NypsL-5S3jjx-8rrQAb-5p8w8o-a5SwX-73pgai-c8rJN-a5T67-713m5r-bDwJ11-9FPrx5-8i2WXz-aFDcrg-4z1jYe-5rSXC7-822YTz-5An4iq-sBMs1-5oQysH-fEHuLF-61bVg-4WSQz-8rrQG3-bWYPSp-ykzEf-3fHoAw-68vjKV
Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Democratic Florida lawmakers used Wednesday’s 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson declaring war on poverty to push a measure they say will have a similar effect in the Sunshine State. But the bill’s authors concede it has little chance of passage.

Perspectives: Health and Wellness

Sep 19, 2013

Leon County ranks as one of the healthiest in Florida--but there are still problems where the county fares among the worst. STD's, Infant Mortality, Poverty, and sexual violence are all issues that Leon County struggles with the most.

Guests:
Holly Kirsch: acting administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Leon County. 
Kristy Goldwire: Executive Director for Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition.