Faces and Facts About Poverty in Oregon

Poverty has a face—actually many faces whose stories reveal the facts about poverty in Oregon.

Below are five. Click on these thumbnails for more information about how these individuals have responded. The expanded stories are followed by infographics about poverty for others in their situation.

Daniel, 19, is a gifted musician and good student now pursuing college despite a childhood of welfare and sporadic homelessness. About 36,000 Oregon teens live in households in poverty and have uncertain prospects of finishing high school, transitioning to good jobs, or ever achieving a postsecondary education.

Since arriving in Oregon more than two decades ago from Mexico, Yolanda, 50, has worked to gain an education, build a career in teaching, help her husband start a business, and raise a family. Nearly 100,000 Oregonians are in single- or two-parent immigrant households striving to break out of poverty.

McKenzie, 36, and her husband, Les, suffered a severe financial setback two years ago when Les had a stroke that left him physically and cognitively impaired and forced her to be a full-time caregiver to Les while still raising three young children. There are more than 123,000 Oregonians in poverty in a household with a disabled adult.

After stints on public assistance, Jovan and her husband Ed are winning their struggle to gain a better life for themselves and their four children. There are nearly 165,000 Oregonians in single- or two-parent households in poverty with young children.

Kelly, 44, is a single ex-offender with two young children trying to rebuild his life. Some 62,000 Oregonians are under supervision as they come out of the corrections system, looking for work with the stigma of a criminal record and often minimal job skills.