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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.




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