Oklahoma Poverty Remains Above National Average - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

NEWS

Oklahoma Poverty Remains Above National Average

Posted: Updated:
Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans experience poverty each year. Despite government programs and non-profits, that has remained steady for almost a decade, seemingly with no end in sight according to new numbers on poverty. Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans experience poverty each year. Despite government programs and non-profits, that has remained steady for almost a decade, seemingly with no end in sight according to new numbers on poverty.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans experience poverty each year. Despite government programs and non-profits, that has remained steady for almost a decade, seemingly with no end in sight according to new numbers on poverty.

“This, this is coming in really handy right now," Franklin Gibbs, 57, said as he held a sign for the Curbside Chronicle news magazine he sells.

He spends his days on street corners in downtown Oklahoma City. After struggling with homelessness and unemployment, he turned to selling magazines for just $2 apiece.

“I had an apartment, OK, but I'm living on a limited income and I heard about [the Curbside Chronicle] so I went down and gave it a try,” Gibbs said.

His income each month is $800, coming mostly from his disabled veteran status. He said he only makes about $60 on a good day of magazine sales.

Gibbs is one of more than 600,000 Oklahomans living in poverty, according to the latest numbers out from the U.S. Census Bureau. That's nearly one in five Oklahomans.

Oklahoma's poverty rate is held steady since the crash of 2008 at right around 16 percent, the numbers show. The findings also illustrate a stark reality of life below the poverty line. Forty percent of Oklahomans in poverty work and 75 percent of those in poverty have a family to feed. 

“I was living on the streets but now I'm living with one of my girlfriend's nieces, so that's kind of helping us a little bit,” Gibbs said.

The state does have programs to give the poor a hand up but folks like Gibbs said they can be difficult to navigate honestly and in the end, don't offer that much help.

 “You got to them and you tell them all kinds of lies, or they'll give you all the help you need and then they'll refer you to other places that'll give you help,” Gibbs said while waiting for more magazines. “But you go to them and be truthfully honest with them, 'oh, we can't help you.' That's what hurts me so much about these government agencies.”

In the end, Gibbs said he, like many Oklahomans in poverty, must rely on the kindness of strangers even if it’s only a few dollars at a time.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.