Tisha Morrison, 46, of Pacoima found herself taking refuge in the Los Angeles area after her Louisiana home was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008.
Today, the single mother of eight, who lost her part-time job at a shelter in May after it closed, struggles to stretch her roughly $1,225 in welfare and food stamps that she receives each month to care for her and her five young children who live at home.
“We barely make it,” Morrison said Wednesday, noting that three of her children have developmental disabilities. “I have a retired veteran boyfriend and he helps me with my loose ends.”
While economists say the national recession officially ended in 2009, new U.S. Census data indicate that Southern Californians became increasingly impoverished at least through last year.
The state’s poverty rate climbed 3.6 percentage points from 2008 to 2012 with significant increases also in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties in the same period, according to estimates from a U.S. Census Bureau survey released Thursday.
In Los Angeles County, the poverty rate also climbed 3.6 percentage points from 15.5 percent in 2008 to 19.1 percent in 2012. It rose 0.8 percentage points from 2011 to 2012, according to the Census Bureau’s American Communities Survey.
“Even through 2012, the L.A. County economy was struggling to recover and ... more Los Angeles County households fell below the poverty line as a result of the lingering effects of the Great Recession,” said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.