The Appalachian Mountain region is one of the most beautiful places on the planet…unless you are one of the families living here; trapped in a hopeless generational cycle of severe poverty.
The communities that we serve are some of the poorest places in the United States.
With most of the coal mines closed, the unemployment rate is at record highs, the education level is at all-time lows, and the sweet families that live here are stuck in the middle.
In some of the communities, the rate of poverty for children under the age of 18 is just about 60% .
About 17% of the homes in this area are considered by the US government as ‘substandard’ - Meaning that there are more people living there than rooms and the home has no indoor plumbing.
The FACT is, if WE - the Body of Christ don’t step in and break the chains of poverty in these mountains, the generational cycle of poverty will continue and will only get worse.
In McDowell County, WV the poverty rate is 33% with 49.4% of the children living in poverty. Unemployment is over 30%. The number of disabled persons over the age of 5 is between 40% and 45%. The percentage of high school grads among folks age 25 and over is less than 50%.
This demographic is not far off from the other Appalachian areas that we serve.