One Crisis Away | KERA News

One Crisis Away

Lindsay Diaz and her son stand in what's left of their home after tornadoes tore through North Texas on Dec. 26, 2015.
Credit Lara Solt

KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

The problem's known as asset poverty, and it doesn’t discriminate. 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 North Texas

Explore the series so far and join the KERA News team as they add new chapters to One Crisis Away in the months to come.

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

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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The homeless population in Dallas and Collin counties is up 24 percent from last year. That’s according to officials at Tuesday’s annual State of the Homeless address.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life follows four families on the financial edge, trying to recover from the Christmas weekend tornadoes.

Thorne Anderson / KERA news special contributor

KERA’s series One Crisis Away, Rebuilding A Life looks at four families left on the financial edge after December’s tornadoes. When the shelters close and the cameras disappear, recovery is only beginning.

Single mom Jenn Anderson had already rebuilt her life once. She picked up her two toddlers and moved to Garland shortly after her husband’s suicide in Las Vegas.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

A dozen storms pummeled North Texas the day after Christmas, killing 13 people and destroying hundreds of homes. Nothing illuminates life on the financial edge like a tornado. That’s the focus of KERA’s new series, One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life.

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KERA’s One Crisis Away project looks at life on the financial edge. Today: our addiction to credit cards. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston shows that despite the shaky economy, our credit habits are hard to break.

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For families struggling to make ends meet, it’s hard to know where to find help. 211 Texas provides a roadmap.

The call service can help with everything from putting food on the table to Medicaid enrollment. Courtney Collins caught up with Tarrant County 211, which just released a report about who's been using the service.

Matthew Rutledge

A report released last week by Apartment List shows Texas rent prices jumped 3.5 percent last year, which outpaces the national increase. Other research shows almost half of Texans spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

There are federal subsidies out there to help low income families pay for quality daycare. The problem is that money often takes months to come through. Two North Texas nonprofits are helping tide people over.

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Making money is one thing -- managing it is another. And new stats out from Creditcards.com prove that. The median income for Texas is better than average, but credit scores in the Lone Star State are some of the worst in the country.

Sophie Torres

It’s a dreary statistic, but it’s true: Most new small businesses fail within two years. The secret to success? Not just working hard, but understanding how to manage money.  

One workshop in southern Dallas is helping startups proceed with financial caution.

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It’s been a week-and-a half since a dozen tornadoes ripped through North Texas, killing 11 people and flattening hundreds of buildings. In Collin County, parents of 35 kids enrolled at a destroyed daycare are scrambling to re-arrange childcare.

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Most people won’t think about income taxes for another couple of months. But low-income families are already counting the days until they can file. 

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When it comes to wealth, there’s a big gap between the “haves” and “have nots” in Dallas. And it turns out, those with means and those without don’t live very far apart.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

Between budgeting for gifts and coordinating travel, holiday to-do lists can be long and winding. For folks climbing out of homelessness, those to-do lists are longer, scarier, and much tougher to check off.

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