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 is also exploring how the cost of living poor can be staggering, focusing on life in Jubilee Park in Dallas. 

Weekly installments examine financial literacy, from financial security for seniors to credit card debt. 

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.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Some experts consider childhood poverty a form of trauma.

Counselors and directors with a Dallas nonprofit say growing up poor can impact everything from impulse control to anxiety.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Some communities hover over the financial edge, while others have completely fallen off. Sandbranch, an unincorporated corner of Dallas County, is one of them. Residents there have no internet, no trash pickup and no running water. 

KERA's series and digital project "The Broken Hip" won a national trophy last weekend -- the station's first-ever award from the Online News Association. And the KERA News series "American Graduate: Homeless in High School" has earned a statewide community service award

A Fort Worth business owner is working tirelessly to make sure her employees don’t fall over the financial edge. She makes it her mission to employ, educate, and embrace each and every one of her staff members.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

After announcing a 10-year plan to jump from 62 million meals a year to 92 million, staffers at the North Texas Food Bank admit, it will be a challenging decade.

Forget 10 years down the road, serving as much as they do now isn’t exactly a cinch. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The North Texas Food Bank is tackling hunger with a bold 10-year plan. The goal? To put out 92 million meals a year by 2025. That’s 50 percent more than what’s being served now.

Your credit score controls the obvious (things like mortgage eligibility) and the not so obvious (like whether you can upgrade your cable package.)

Tony Milburn is on the board for Catholic Charities Fort Worth and works in wealth management for UBS. He talks about the sometimes startling impact of poor credit.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

For people battling back from an injury, or trying to live with a chronic condition, medical gear can be key to recovery. If insurance won’t pick up the tab, the cost can be devastating.

A North Texas nonprofit that’s part salvage yard and part repair shop is trying to bridge the gap.

born1945 / Flickr

Sometimes small expenses can completely derail folks trying to leave homelessness behind.

For people just getting into transitional housing, little costs like a work uniform or a car tire can be enough to put them back on the street or in a shelter. That's where "flex funds" come in.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Imagine trusting a stranger to make your financial decisions. For some North Texans, that’s the best possible reality.

The “representative payee program” helps mentally ill adults manage Social Security benefits. It helps people pay their bills. And when done right, it builds a bond between volunteers and vulnerable citizens.