Franklin County seeks way to tackle ‘alarm­ing’ prob­lem

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Kim­ball Perry

Con­cerned be­cause so many in Franklin County live in poverty — one in four chil­dren, and one in six res­i­dents — de­spite a strong re­gional econ­omy, the county’s com­mis­sion­ers are in­vest­ing in a year­long study to find so­lu­tionvs for the most vul­ner­a­ble.

“There’s a lot of peo­ple out here (who) need help,” said Chris­tine Ben­nett, 52, of the West Side. Ben­nett is among them. With a daugh­ter in prison, she cares for three grand­chil­dren who are 12 or younger. They have to move be­cause of­fi­cials dis­cov­ered there is too much lead in their home. The fam­ily gets pub­lic med­i­cal ben­e­fits and cash as­sis­tance but doesn’t qual­ify for food as­sis­tance be­cause Ben­nett’s in­come is just over the limit.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult. I lost my hus­band five years ago,” she said.

For some time, county lead­ers have con­sid­ered what can be done to im­prove what Com­mis­sioner John O’Grady calls “alarm­ing” poverty sta­tis­tics in a gen­er­ally eco­nom­i­cally suc­cess­ful pop­u­la­tion. He and fel­low com­mis­sion­ers

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