Recently, the Legislature received a report regarding intergenerational poverty in Utah. The report had a statewide scope but also drilled down into specific neighborhoods. The majority of my Legislative district resides on the 84401 Zip Code. This code includes downtown Ogden and also the affluent rural/suburban community of West Haven.
Here are some interesting facts regarding poverty in our 84401 zip code:
- 3,309 individuals (all ages) are the second or more consecutive generation in their family to receive state welfare benefits (intergenerational poverty).
- 9% of the TOTAL population of 84401 are people in intergenerational poverty.
- 15% of all children in 84401 are living in intergenerational poverty.
- 26% of all households in 84401 are single mothers with children.
- 10% of Middle School students are chronically absent
- 15% of Elementary School students are chronically absent
- 31% of High School Students drop out
- 68.5% of children living in intergenerational poverty receive food stamps.
- There were 38.6 teen births for every 1000 teen girls age 15-17
These are just a few of the disturbing facts in this year's report.
The legislature is working to make existing programs more efficient by reducing duplication in services and expanding communication between departments servicing the disadvantage in our communities. It is our hope that applying a laser focus to these children in intergenerational poverty will help break the poverty cycle and, in addition to blessing the lives of those who work their way up the economic ladder, end the requisite dependence on taxpayer funded state resources.