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Report: Economic “Grinch” Visiting More MI Families

December 17, 2007

Lansing, MI – The economic "Grinch" is visiting more Michigan families this holiday season. The state's poverty rate is among the fastest-growing in the nation. Sharon Parks, with the Michigan League for Human Services, reports there's a lot going on in the state to push families into poverty.

"Certainly the housing market is playing a role, as we see more foreclosures. We see families needing a variety of forms of assistance just to get through the day-to-day. Our helping agencies are really getting hit right now with a high level of requests for services, especially as the holidays approach and the winter heat bills start going up."

The median household income in Michigan has fallen below the national average. Parks explains as the auto industry has shrunk, the jobs replacing those positions typically pay a lot less. And, while state job creation strategies need to be updated to help in the long-term, Parks believes the immediate focus should be on strengthening public and private safety net systems, which are being stretched thin.

To view a copy of the League's report on poverty, visit http://milhs.org.

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - MI