Poverty among Duval County women on the rise

by: Amber Krycka, Action News Jax Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A recent study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research shows that nearly one in seven of women in Florida are living in poverty. The number is higher in Duval County.

“Florida ranked 47th across the country, which is disturbing. It’s jaw-dropping,” Paula Liang, co-chairman of the Florida Funding Alliance, said.

It’s a concerning number for Liang, who has dedicated her time to improve the lives of women and children.

“And when women struggle, their children struggle,” she said.


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The study reported that about 15% of women in Florida live in poverty. In Duval County, that number is almost 17%. Liang said there are many reasons contributing to those statistics, including the gender gap in wages, a lack of access to medical care and affordable childcare.

Despite the circumstances, Many are fighting to not become a statistic.

Lisa Stewart has been struggling in poverty for years. “I’m a patient of Crohn’s disease and my mom helps me out a lot," she said. "I have three kids and two grandbabies.” She said she nearly gave up. But at 48, she is trying to change her life. 

Stewart is taking a free 20-week program through the Clara White Mission. The class provide financial help and management skills.


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Stewart said she hopes to one day own her own business. “I want my place to be called Taste by an Angel,” she said. A dream she hopes to taste in the near future.

Click here to learn more about the Clara White program.