District 8: Dallas Area Sees Worst in Poverty

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DALLAS – Poverty in Dallas is getting more attention, just as things are getting worse. Recent numbers have been released, ranking Dallas as the 3rd worst city in the nation for overall poverty.

No one knows more about this than Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins, who represents District 8 – which has the dubious distinction of being the poorest in the city.

“I’m kind of surprised but not surprised,” Atkins said.

The poverty cloud has been floating around various areas of Big D, but now it’s hovering directly over District 8. And they’re feeling it.

“We know it’s here now, what are we going to do about it?” Atkins asks.

That’s a good question. Atkins believes one big reason his community is hurting is simple.

“Those locations who do not have grocery stores, who do not have restaurants, who do not have office buildings, who do not have hotels’ … ‘communities who don’t have all those different types of business –different types of opportunity to make money — you’re going to have sacks of poverty,” Atkins said.

Sacks of poverty are a heavy load, especially for folks in District 8.

“My girlfriend basically helps me out,” Gregory Birdow said. “She has a job;  she’s 34 and I’m almost 40. So, she’s trying to help me.”