Poverty ties in with all kinds of social ills - low grades in chool, poor nutrition, violence, even asthma and shorter life expectancy.
But poverty is about more than money. Poor people can't get at the opportunities and services middle-class Americans take for granted
. So the poor often sink into a cycle of day-to-day survival, which
ensures that their children will be poor too. In West Virginia, 360,000 people live below the poverty line, which
means they make less than $14,150 a year for a family of three. That means one of every five West Virginians is poor, including a lot of people's eighbors, baby sitters, yard workers, waiters, janitors and parking lot
attendants. This year's Kids Count Databook compiled a list of opportunities and services from which poor families are often excluded. Inspired by the Kids Count report, five Gazette writers picked one topic each - banking, transportation, computers, education and recreation - to explore in coming weeks in the Gazette's Community section. This week, staff writer Susan Williams explores the trials of working people in search of a simple checking account.