MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A new report out is giving a look inside poverty in Multnomah County.

A report like this hasn’t been done in five years. Tuesday, it was presented to the Multnomah County Commissioners. 

The report shows that more people are living in deep poverty than just five years ago. Multnomah County saw an increase from 7 percent to 8 percent. 

According to the 95-page document more than a 34 percent of Multnomah County households do not have enough income to be able to meet their basic needs. That number is down 2 percent from five years ago. 

The report says the county has seen strong economic growth in recent years, but the growth has primarily been in the highest income households. 

According to the county between 2010 and 2017 Portland had the fourth fastest increase in household income among the 50 largest cities. That drive pushed Portland to the 19th wealthier major city in the U.S.

The report outlines economic growth was driven by an increase in high paying jobs for professionals with advanced skills. While wages increased there, wages for low and middle wage workers stayed stagnant. 

Steve Weiss knows what poverty is like in Multnomah County. He’s living off SSI and has been an advocate fro those in poverty.

“It is not very easy to to live on $771 a month,” Weiss said. “You get snap money, that is the program formally known as food stamps and so you get some more money there but it is not much money to live on over the course of a month for a single person.”

The report notes that safety net programs, income subsidies intended to lift poor households out of poverty have eroded to the point that most fail to bring people above the poverty line.

The report outlines 13 things to help guide the county to solving poverty. It suggests things like increasing public understanding, expanding access to education, training and workforce development and investing in programs to help children and youth to have economic security.

View the full report here.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 


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