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ID Rural Families Chime in During Economic ‘Listening Tour’

December 7, 2009

BOISE, Idaho - Experts claim the recession is over, but many people in rural Idaho aren't seeing improvement yet. That's the gist of an economic listening tour of rural counties, and the stories about what families are facing are on their way to Congress.

The director of United Vision for Idaho (UVI), Adrienne Evans, helped document rural experiences, and says that, for example, 50 percent of women in Minidoka and Jerome Counties are single mothers raising their families in poverty.

"A great many of them have actually been going to the local veterinary supply store to get medications to treat their ailments because they just simply cannot afford health care."

Delmar Stone with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-Idaho Chapter says the stories are important to consider against the backdrop of more state budget cuts. He cites the fact that one in 30 children in Canyon County is homeless as a statistic that cannot be overlooked.

"It's just a reminder of how much people are hurting in Idaho, and about the way unemployment is affecting people."

The tour stopped in Jerome, Minidoka, Gooding, Twin Falls, Canyon and Owyhee Counties. UVI, Snake River Alliance, Idaho Women's Network and the NASW helped gather the stories to send to Washington.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - ID