Inland Empire News

Census: San Bernardino 2nd-poorest large city in US

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A not-so-welcome distinction for San Bernardino: It's the second-poorest city in the country. Detroit is the only city worse off.

The United States Census Bureau recently released its figures on the most impoverished large cities in the country. Some residents say the city is attracting the poor.

The Frazee Community Center in San Bernardino serves meals to those in need, five days a week.

"I'm here because I don't have a lot of money," said San Bernardino resident Jeff Snow. "This place helps out people who are in need."

Lately there are more and more people in need. Frazee Community Center Executive Director Stephen Howard says they're not just serving people who live on the streets.

"There is a lady who drives a Hummer, she comes here for lunch every day, and to pick up clothes, so it's really, really getting bad. It's not like it was before when only homeless people were coming to soup kitchens," said Howard. "It's all wide ranges of people coming to soup kitchens now."

According to the Census Bureau, Miami, Fla., is the fifth-most impoverished large city in the county, with 32.4 percent of people living in poverty.

Rochester, N.Y., is number four. Number three is Cleveland, Ohio.

San Bernardino is number two, with 34.6 percent of people living in poverty.

That's topped only by Detroit, the most impoverished city in the country, with 37.6 percent of people below the poverty line.

Local resident Rachelle Shocklie says perhaps one reason why there are so many people living in poverty in San Bernardino is because there's so much help available here.

"Anywhere else I live there's really close to none," said Shocklie. "I came from Hemet, and there's none over there at all, there's no help at all, so it probably does draw more people over here."

The three most-impoverished cities in the Inland Empire are San Bernardino, Hesperia and Perris. The three least-impoverished cities in the Inland Empire are Murrieta, Rancho Cucamonga and Chino Hills.

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economy, inland empire news, rob mcmillan
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