DALLAS -- Dallas is known for a lot of big things. Hey, that's why they call it Big D, right? But one of the things getting way bigger in Dallas is the number of families living in poverty.
“When I see poverty is going up, I see that middle-income have come down again. Then it's important that the staff and the council and the mayor take responsibility for that,” said Dallas City Councilmen Jerry Allen.
The City Council learned Wednesday that since the year 2000, the number of families living below the poverty line has jumped to 20%.
“It's realistic. It's happening,” said Sha Spillers, who is part of that 20%. She moved her family of six here from Michigan hoping to leave stats like that behind.
“I brought them here for better schools, better opportunities,” Spillers said.
Those opportunities didn’t come right away, and this single mom was left without a home or a way to support her kids.
“As far as feeding them and clothing them, it's really hard,” said Spillers. “You have to stay strong, even if you have to break down in the middle of the night while they are asleep or duck off into the bathroom. Strength is a big aspect when you have kids.”
She eventually found her way to Union Gospel Mission where they are trying to help Spillers find a job and a way to break the poverty cycle for her kids.
“It disciplines you on things you want versus things that you need. So when you leave, you'll know you have foundation. You'll have structure. You'll be stable.”
Let's hope these poverty stats stabilize too.