Franklin County seeks way to tackle ‘alarming’ problem
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