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Cleveland ranked dead last of larger cities in fight against child poverty

Posted at 10:11 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 16:04:57-04

Parents across the country are working two or even three jobs to provide for their families, but many times that's still not enough.

The U.S. Census recently released a study ranking how well major cities are doing managing child poverty.

Cleveland ranks dead last.

De'Shonna Williams is working to pull her and her kids out of poverty.

"I do the best that I can with my children, like now I have two jobs," said De'shonna Williams. 

Williams is a waitress at one restaurant and a dishwasher somewhere else, but even with both jobs, those paychecks aren't always enough.

"Nobody wants to go through the shelter especially with their children," she said.

The 23-year-old was homeless, but with help from several organizations, she's got a place to call home for her kids.

"Me moving forward with even getting this house is like a more bigger picture to me in my mind, now I can provide more and better things for my children," said Williams. "I gotta get out and do it."

Emily Campbell is from the Center for Community Solutions and said many folks living below the poverty line earning less than $25,000 thousand a year, mirror Williams lifestyle.

"People who are working a couple of jobs trying to get by and they're just not earning enough to be above that threshold, but about 40 percent of people living in poverty are working," said Campbell.

Experts say to improve we must look at the big picture.

"We could raise people's income, but we need to get them out of the circumstances of poverty so exposure to bad housing puts kids at risk, families that are stressed and have trauma in those families they have difficulty parenting," said Case Western Reserve Professor Dr. Robert Fischer.

Williams said although breaking the cycle of poverty is a challenge, she's determined to give her children a better life.

"I just put my mind to it, its just something I think of that is something that's important and has to be done in order for me to move forward in my life and I just put my mind to it and do it," she said.