This series was originally published in the Kokomo Tribune between March 6 and 20, 2016. The original series included several online components not included here, such as: an interactive quiz that allowed people to choose how they would budget their money each month as a single parent with a minimum wage job; an interactive timeline; graphics displaying the demographics of public housing residents; and an interactive map showing the income level, poverty rate and educational attainment in different areas of the city.
The Changing the Conversation series examines the impact of living in concentrated poverty, especially on children, and what can be done to offer hope for the next generation.
To explore this topic, reporters Lauren Slagter and Martin Slagter spent five months taking a closer look at the unique relationship between Garden Square apartments and Kokomo Urban Outreach. The series aims to refute stereotypes associated with poverty by telling the stories of public housing residents in their own words. It highlighted the thin line between poverty and “living well” and outlined the efforts of Kokomo Urban Outreach, the Kokomo Housing Authority and other community groups to empower Garden Square residents to achieve self-sufficiency.
The series was reported through dozens of interviews with residents, volunteers and employees of KUO and the KHA, city leaders and experts on poverty. They all say there is more we can do to support our neighbors, and we’ll share how you can get involved.
This series took first place for best community service in the 2016 Hoosier State Press Association and it received Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.’s best public service award of 2016.