One Crisis Away

One in three North Texans can’t weather a financial storm that lasts 90 days. The problem's known as asset poverty, and it doesn't discriminate. A job loss, health emergency, even legal trouble is enough to plunge a third of our friends and neighbors into financial distress.

KERA's series One Crisis Away is following four families on the financial edge.  (Meet these families and explore their stories in our KERA News Digital Storytelling Project.) The series includes radio stories, videos, blogging, conversations on Think and a public forum presented by KERA and Communities Foundation of Texas , which was held at Dallas City Performance Hall on Thursday, February 27, 2014. 

Moderated by KERA's Krys Boyd, the One Crisis Away event featured an in-depth discussion on asset poverty with three leading experts: Andrea Levere, president, Corporation for Enterprise Development; Alfreda Norman, vice president and community development officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and Larry James, president & CEO, CitySquare.  Twitter discussion took place during the event using the hashtag #onecrisisaway.

Watch the full program:

One Crisis Away is funded in part by the Communities Foundation of Texas, Allstate Foundation, the Dallas Women's Foundation, The Fort Worth Foundation, The Thomson Family Foundation, and the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Rick Holter / KERA News

New research out of the North Texas Food Bank's Hunger Center explores the link between food security and other financial habits. According to Research Director Richard Amory, data shows bad financial practices may actually cause food insecurity. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

YWCA buildings in Dallas used to feature swimming pools and gyms. Those disappeared a decade ago. Since then, the organization has re-focused on women’s health and financial coaching, but until last week, the YW didn’t have a place to call home.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

About half a million Texans live in what’s known as colonias. These communities pop up near the Texas-Mexico border and usually lack the basics, such paved roads, utilities and secure housing.

elycefeliz / Flickr

Half a dozen bills designed to raise the state’s minimum wage are working their way through a Texas House committee. Currently, Texas pays at the federal rate which is $7.25 an hour.

A significant bump in hourly pay could be a long shot in a staunchly conservative legislature. One advocacy group has just issued a study endorsing President Obama's call to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Lara Solt / KERA Special Contributor

For the last month, the KERA series One Crisis Away: Inside a Neighborhood has illuminated the lives of folks on the financial edge in Jubilee Park.

As KERA’s Courtney Collins reported, Jubilee has seen change for the good, but there are still plenty of problems in the East Dallas neighborhood: it’s tough to find fresh food, bank accounts and decent-paying jobs.

Lara Solt

The cost of living poor can be staggering: Racking up interest on a payday loan, working for minimum wage, paying fees to cash a check, and eating healthy when groceries are hard to find. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

There’s a big difference between having a job, and having a job that pays enough to live on. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Two years ago, 400,000 Texas workers were paid that -- or less.

Lara Solt / KERA News Special Contributor

For some North Texans, the most challenging chore of the week is buying groceries.

As part of our series, One Crisis Away, Inside a Neighborhood, KERA explores why a lot of people in Jubilee Park drive for miles to get their groceries. Or pay the price at the corner store.

Learn About Dallas' Jubilee Park In New KERA Series

Feb 24, 2015
Thorne Anderson

Going to school, finding a good job, opening a savings account, buying a home -- they're all parts of the American dream. But they might just be dreams for many in North Texas, where one in three can’t weather a financial storm that lasts 90 days.

What It’s Like To Be Poor

Jan 23, 2015
Shutterstock

Members of America’s middle and upper classes have preconceived notions about what it means to be poor. This hour, as part of KERA’s One Crisis Away initiative, we found out what going without is really like.

Pages