”Children and families have been crushed by the overall economic decline”says Dr. Claudia Coulton, Founder & Co-Director, The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, to NBC in ” The Heartland: Life and Loss in Steel City” on September 2016. Coulton said that child poverty rates continues to increase in Cleveland and approximately 62 percent of children under the age of six live in families whose incomes fall below 100 percent of the federal poverty line.
According to the article, the percent of young children living in poverty outside of the city in the suburbs of Cuyahoga County is far lower, at about 31 percent, that means nearly a third of families in the county are confronting many of the same struggles faced by poor, urban families. The Poverty Center in 2013 found that almost 10 percent of children tested for lead in Cuyahoga County showed signs of elevated levels in their blood. In some neighborhoods that number climbed to 15 percent. Experts say that any exposure to lead can have irreversible, damaging effects on a child’s health, including IQ, cognitive function and behavioral issues.
Although the closing down of steel industries have caused a huge economic decline, the dumping of industrial waste in the Cuyahoga River has been reduced. Read the full article at nbcnews.com. Dr. Coulton also discussed the sharp drop in Cleveland’s poverty in cleveland.com. Also read the Center’s latest news on the effects of lead poisoning and on urban poverty.