Over 13% of Middlesex residents live in poverty
by Larry Chowning
The Middlesex Department of Social Services issued a fiscal year 2012-13 (FY13) report on August 6 to the Middlesex Board of Supervisors that states 13.15% of county residents are living in poverty.
According to U.S. census figures, the population of Middlesex is listed at 10,854, which means 1,456 county residents are living below the poverty level.
The 2012 poverty income guidelines for Virginia are: one-person household, $11,170; two-person, $15,130; three-person, $19,090; four-person, $23,050; five-person, $27,010; six-person, $30,970; seven-person, $34,930; and eight-person, $38,890.
The FY13 report stated that 41 children per month were assisted through the child care program; 396 clients were assisted through the energy assistance program; 34 court-ordered home studies were completed in FY 13; and nine prevention cases were opened, which allowed 21 children to potentially avoid foster care.
The SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps, assisted approximately 1,673 clients a month in Middlesex.
Middlesex also had 1,500 Medicaid clients per month, 52 temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) per month, and 59 child protective services cases.
The report stated that one of the major projects this year was implementing Common Help, the new online benefits system that allows clients to apply for SNAP, Medicaid, TANF and Energy Assistance benefits online.
In August 2012, the Department of Social Services worked with other community partners to organize the agency’s first Senior Resource Fair, which was free and open to the public.
In April 2013, the department held its third annual “Go Blue Day” to bring awareness to Child Abuse Prevention Month, and on May 24 it sponsored “Break Out Your Purple Day” for awareness of Adult Abuse Prevention Month.