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Updated: 05/23/2013 2:57 PM
Created: 05/22/2013 5:55 PM KSTP.com | Print |  Email
By: Katherine Johnson

Minn. Metro Suburbs Face Rising Poverty Rate

The rapid growth and lack of affordable housing in our suburbs has created one of the fastest rising poverty rates in the nation. These aren't just numbers. These are our neighbors.

When grocery shopping in a suburban community, you're bound to run into someone you know.  As Sara and Dennis Danielson grab their cart and put 4-year-old daughter Bella in the seat, that's their biggest fear. 

That's because the Danielson's aren't at the neighborhood store. They're shopping at a food shelf in Shakopee.

"You know that people are going to look at you like you're just trash and you're worthless and you don't deserve help," Dennis Danielson said.

The number of people in the metro suburbs living below the $24,000 a year poverty line has more than doubled in the past 15 years. The rapid growth and lack of affordable housing in our suburbs has created one of the fastest rising poverty rates in the nation.

"There's a lot of people that are just barely making it," he said. "Just barely skating by."

The Danielson family fell behind on a medical bill following Sara's cervical cancer treatment.  That's all it took for them to lose their suburban home.

"It's heartbreaking," said Danielson.

Blanca Correa owns a beautiful home in Chaska. And that's about it.

"You will say oh everybody here has the money to pay for these houses but if you go behind the walls it's another different thing," she said.

"Behind that facade of a beautiful home is a true human need," said Carolina Bradpiece, President and CEO of the Community Action Partnership.

CAP's Shakopee food shelf distributes 50,000 pounds of food a month to people just like the Danielson's.

"Is our work enough? I don't think it is," said Bradpiece.

Because it wasn't long ago that the suburban family worried about forgetting something on the grocery list rather than what they can afford to take.

"One little thing goes wrong and that can be it. It can all fall apart," said Danielson.

Click here for more on the CAP Agency.


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