One Crisis Away | KERA News

One Crisis Away

KERA’s One Crisis Away project focuses a spotlight on North Texans living on the financial edge both in weekly stories and regular in-depth series.

A scene from West Dallas near Singleton Boulevard.
Credit Allison V. Smith / KERA News special contributor

A job loss, health emergency, even legal trouble can be enough to plunge a third of our friends and neighbors into financial distress. One Crisis Away puts a human face on asset poverty and the financial struggles of people in Dallas-Fort Worth.  

Explore multimedia projects: No Place To Go, a deep dive into affordable housing and gentrification in West Dallas; Rebuilding A Life, a series about North Texans recovering from devastating tornadoes; Drowning In Debt, stories about and resources for living with financial burden; and more.

How To Manage Student Loan Debt

Sep 21, 2016
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The average American college student will graduate with more than $35,000 in student loan debt.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

Some people borrow $200,000 for law school—others, $10,000 for a bachelor’s degree they never finish.

One Lewisville musician is somewhere in between. She has two undergraduate degreees. One’s paid off, one isn’t anywhere close. KERA's series One Crisis Away: Drowning In Debt zooms in on America's trillion dollar problem: student loans.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

Debt isn’t something limited to folks with low paying jobs. The typical Texan carries nearly $4,700 in credit card debt. Here’s the thing: That balance tends to increase as income goes up.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

For many Texans, the economy is booming—plenty of jobs that pay well and a low unemployment rate.

For many working families, though, there’s a monster in the closet: debt. It looks different in every house and gets tougher to control as each day passes.

KERA's new series One Crisis Away: Drowning In Debt chronicles North Texans scrambling to stay on top of their personal mountain of “money owed.”

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A firestorm erupted after the maker of EpiPen announced steep price hikes for the life-saving injector device. It helps people who have potentially fatal allergic reactions.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

A North Texas program designed to help marginalized women secure meaningful employment also hopes to empower women. The Akola Project says that starts with a job that pays a living wage.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

One North Texas school has a plan to help families living in poverty stay involved at school. Teachers at one elementary are bringing the classroom into the home.

Staffers say a visit before the first school bell even rings can set the tone for the entire year.

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When you don’t have much money, finding legal representation is a challenge; which is why North Texas legal aid groups want families with limited resources to know, help is out there.

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Tax-free weekend starts Friday in Texas. The three-day break lets families buy backpacks, sneakers and blue jeans with no sales tax, which seems like a straightforward way to save.

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An often overlooked aspect of domestic violence is financial abuse. Victims are forced to co-sign loans, open new credit cards and make purchases they can’t afford.

One Tarrant County woman lost tens of thousands of dollars to her abuser. Years later, she’s still working to regain her financial footing.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Simply re-arranging food pantry shelves is helping low income families make healthier choices. It's the same philosophy supermarkets employ-- called nudging-- when the store creates a special display to feature a product.

One North Texas pantry has had luck pushing brown rice, and whole wheat pasta.

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Government programs are in place to help impoverished families, orphans, the disabled and the elderly. Sometimes, though, the money from those programs doesn’t make it to the people in need.

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Worrying about money can be stressful, distracting and time-consuming. According to new research, a third of Americans are actually losing sleep over it.

Experts say chronic concern over finances can take quite a physical toll on the person doing the worrying. 

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Does geography actually matter when it comes to getting that first job?

A new Wallethub study ranks the best and worst cities for starting a career, and Texas is all over the top 25. Analyst Jill Gonzalez breaks down the rankings with KERA's Courtney Collins.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Dallas’ Jubilee Park Community Center, which was featured in last year’s KERA series ‘Inside A Neighborhood,’ runs an after school and summer program for local kids.

The students who attend have made major strides in reading over the past year.

Cottages at Hickory Crossing

Fifty tiny houses -- dubbed the Cottages at Hickory Crossing -- will soon be home to 50 of the most expensive homeless people in Dallas.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Working parents face a challenge when it’s time to find affordable child care over the summer.

No-cost and low-cost camps in North Texas can be tough to track down —and fill up quickly.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Eating healthy on a tight budget can seem daunting.

Some North Texas community nutrition programs teach people how to stretch their food budget without sacrificing health and wellness.

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New Pew Research Center data shows the middle class is dwindling. It’s true in about 90 percent of metropolitan areas surveyed, including Dallas-Fort Worth.

Rakesh Kochhar from the Pew Research Center explains what that this means for North Texas -- and beyond.

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According to the Children’s Defense Fund, kids living in a family that makes $15,000 a year are 22 times more likely to be abused than children in a family making just $30,000.

The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas just received a $3.4 million grant to launch a program in June that’s focused on preventing abuse.

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The Texas Association of Realtors reports home values in North Texas are up nearly 9 percent over this time last year. Though the economy is booming, Rev. Gerald Britt of CitySquare says that growth is leaving out folks who are barely making ends meet. 

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Some experts say service agencies working together-- a true holistic approach-- is the only way to get a handle on poverty.

A new Fort Worth program encourages families to think beyond that next paycheck, and make real plans for the future.

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A report released earlier this month reveals some uncomfortable truths about child poverty in Texas. For example while 1 in 4 Texas kids live in poverty— for black and Latino children, it’s 1 in 3.

KERA took a deep dive into the State of Texas Children, produced by the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

A new report looks at poverty through the lens of race and equal opportunityThe State of Texas Children, released Wednesday, shows one in four Texas kids live in poverty. For children in black and Latino families, the statistic jumps to one in three.

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For millennials just getting used to the tax code, some common misconceptions can lead to disappointment, and maybe even a big bill on filing day.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Two weeks ago, Rowlett resident Lindsay Diaz got news that her storm-damaged home had been demolished by mistake.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

The Dallas County community where about 100 people live without running water or sewer service has been approved to operate a water supply corporation-- a step toward bringing services there.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

KERA’s series, One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life chronicles families on the financial edge, trying to recover from the Christmas weekend tornadoes.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

A family trying to recover from Christmas weekend tornadoes got some startling news Tuesday.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

KERA's series One Crisis Away: Rebuilding a life, looks at tornado recovery for folks on the financial edge. It's estimated only 40 percent of people who lease apartments or houses have renters insurance. They need that money to buy food and pay the bills.

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