Census Shows Georgia Among Highest Poverty Rate In Country

By  | 

Valdosta, GA - 29 year old Daniel Gordon is homeless. He lives full-time with dozens others at a homeless shelter called "Uplift Incorporated" in Morven, Georgia.

"I just lost everything I had making bad decisions. That was part of it, you know. Loss of income, loss of job and the household," said Gordon.

Together the residents work to make room for the next wave of residents coming this Winter. So is it any suprise that Georgia nearly leads the nation in poverty?

"Sounds about right," Gordon said.

The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Georgia and Kentucky as tied for the 5th highest poverty rate in the country. In Georgia, 19% of residents are below the poverty line.

"To be homeless doesn't mean someone has a mental illness or the individual is lazy," said Brian Paulk, who also lives at the shelter. "It just means they fell on hard times."

"So it requires something that is on-going to help these people get back on their feet and get back into society," said Founder and Executive Director Tyrone Terrell.

As for Daniel Gordon, he hopes his days in the shelter are numbered but he is thankful for them.

"So far they've been getting me back and forth to my doctor's appointments and stuff like that," Gordon said. "So far I haven't yet been able to get an income but hopefully I will in the future."

Florida is ranked 18th with 17% of people living below the poverty line. Mississippi has the worst poverty rate in America and New Hampshire has the best.