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Poverty numbers rising as county reels from recession

Nov. 19, 2012

Waukesha County is often noted for its affluence, but beneath its surface of gleaming subdivisions, excellent schools and quaint downtowns lurks the growing and pervasive reality of poverty.

Like other counties and communities across the country, the Great Recession that gripped the nation over the last few years left a lasting mark on the communities we call home.

Take, for example, that in 2000, more than 2.7 percent of Waukesha County's more than 355,000 people lived in poverty - 9,635 people.

The 2010 census showed that the number of people living in poverty doubled in the intervening years, to 5.4 percent of the nearly 385,000 people who called Waukesha County home at that time. That's 20,894 people.

More than 19,000 people in the county now rely on food stamps each month.

According to data from the University of Wisconsin Extension in Waukesha County, there were 1,217 home foreclosures in 2011. That's only slightly better than 2009, when there were 1,335. There were just 273 in 2000.

In the Village of Hartland, the number of people living in poverty jumped from 204 people - 2.6 percent of its population at the turn of the century - to 578 people - 6.5 percent of its population in the 2010 census. Oconomowoc's population of people living in poverty rose from 190 people to 414 people during the same time.

The need at area food pantries has increased exponentially in the last five years.

Beginning in 2007, people suddenly began losing hours, income, jobs and, eventually, their homes.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

HAWS Saturday Dog Recess: 10 a.m. Feb. 6, Central Bark, W227 N6193 Sussex Road, Sussex. Session is 10 a.m. to noon. Dogs can make new friends in a controlled environment. Meet HAWS adoptables, socialize your dog and let them get exercise while supporting HAWS. $5.

Fly a Kite on Ice Event: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 6, Silly Willyz, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., on Pewaukee Lake in front of the store. Bring a kite of your own to fly, or Silly Willyz will have kites you can demo. Prizes will be awarded in various categories and participants will be entered in a raffle for prizes. (262) 696-4021, www.sillywillyz.com

Red Wing Collectors Society Show & Sale: 1 p.m. Feb. 6, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale Mile Road, Oconomowoc. Show and Sale, 1 to 4 p.m., auction starts at 5 p.m. The Show & Sale is part of the RWCS Midwinter GetTogether Feb. 5-7 which includes a German-themed reception Friday, breakout session, children’s educational activities. www.redwingcollectors.org.

 

Ted Cefalu: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 6, Mama Ds Coffee, 104 W. Main St., Wales. A little bit of rock, pop, folk, and country. (414) 659-1852

All weekend happenings

 

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