Below the Line is a relentless, hard look at childhood poverty — the factors that cause it, the people affected by it and the solutions.
Others have done occasional stories on childhood poverty here. But no one has produced as much coverage in the Tri-State as WCPO. On our Below the Line page, WCPO.com/poverty, there are more than 100 stories.
Then our coverage moved on to highlighting specific aspects of our region’s poverty problem, such as this story about how more kids in Northern Kentucky have become homeless because of the heroin epidemic.
In December, we begin to focus on solutions. Lucy profiled three local organizations that are having an impact on childhood poverty.
In February, we reported on three organizations across the country that are reducing childhood poverty. The idea was to provide local residents with some new ideas for how to fight poverty.
Lucy and Emily Maxwell told the story of Natalia Gardner as our first story in the Below The Line series. That story published one year ago today.
But one year after that story that started our coverage, childhood poverty continues to plague the region.
In the city of Cincinnati, 47.2 percent of all children live below the federal poverty threshold, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December 2015.
That’s more than 30,000 children within the city limits.
For the Tri-State as a whole, one in five kids — or 105,000 children — live below the federal poverty level.
Both estimates were worse than comparable numbers released in December 2014.
So we’re not going away. WCPO and 9 On Your Side will be putting even more reporting time from talented reporters such as Lucy May and Kathrine Nero on this story.
We are going to keep telling you about the problems, highlighting success stories and uncovering solutions.
Childhood poverty is a complex problem with many issues contributing to it. We are challenging the Tri-State to continue to step up and help fight childhood poverty. And we will do our part to continue to shine light on the issues.
This problem is too important for us to let up on.
Mike Canan is editor of WCPO.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @Mike_Canan.