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Tucson poverty rate at 19.3 percent

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jan 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-07 08:42:04-05
Carmen and her niece Abigail go to the Gospel Rescue Mission in South Tucson to pick up food, clothes, and gifts. They are among the many Tucsonans who live below the poverty rate in town.  
 
According to Making Action Possible for Southern Arizona - Tucson's poverty level is at 19.3 percent. 
 
The percentage averages out to one in five families living in poverty according to the University of Arizona. 
 
The Gospel Rescue Mission reinforcing that number -- telling KGUN 9 that nearly 70 percent of people living in South Tucson are at or below the poverty line. 
 
Carmen says, she feels comfortable going to the rescue mission for food. Adding, "There are times that a person doesn't have food in the house and I have to come here to grab food and vegetables."
 
The Gospel Rescue Mission says they help change people's lives by providing physical, emotional and mental help. 
 
In 2016, they provided 356,636 meals and 45,770 articles of clothing to people in need. 
 
Victor Hightower, public relations and outreach coordinator says poverty is a multi-layered issue. 
 
"Economically it can be addressed by helping people get an education and creating a better business environment that would lead to less unemployment," says Hightower.