In Michigan
4:15 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Report: homelessness and poverty on the rise

LANSING, MI –

Poverty and homelessness rates have been on the rise over the past several years in Michigan. That's according to an annual report on poverty from the Michigan League for Human Services. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber has more.

The report says a quarter of kids in Michigan live in poverty, and one in ten kids lives in extreme poverty. "Extreme poverty" means a family makes less than $11,000 a year. Karen Holcomb-Merrill is with the league.

"The child poverty rate in Michigan is about 23%, and it's grown by over 50% in the past 10 years, which is really tremendous, and in a bad way," he says.

Holcomb-Merrill says she hopes the Legislature will help lessen poverty rates by raising the Earned Income Tax Credit for working poor families. The credit was reduced earlier this year by lawmakers and Governor Rick Snyder. Holcomb-Merrill says lawmakers could also help families by making sure they have better access to cash and food assistance.