The Moore American

Local News

January 15, 2014

Poverty down, worries remain



“It seems there was a time when having a job was the key to not struggling,” Rice said. “Now, having a job, particularly if it’s part-time, does not necessarily mean all your economic problems are going to go away.”

It’s an endless debate that goes something like this.

Supporters: Federal programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits soften the blow of poverty and make it easier for poor people to make positive changes in their lives. Critics: Government subsidies lull poor people into a cycle of dependency by giving them just enough to get by, often without working.

Darrishae Potts, who has seen poverty up close, said both sides have it right.

It just depends on the person.

Potts, 24, grew up in a poor family in Oklahoma City. She’s the oldest of her mother’s five children. She has five other half-siblings on her father’s side.

When Potts was 17, she gave birth to daughter Azariah, who is 7 now. The father is no longer in the picture. When Potts was 18, her mother’s boyfriend killed her mother and then killed himself. Potts became the legal guardian of younger brother Alondo, now 11, and sister A’Nari, 9.

Like other people in her family, Potts relies on government anti-poverty programs to help make ends meet. She said she receives about $830 a month from Social Security for taking care of Alondo and A’Nari. She gets a monthly food stamp allotment of about $430. She pays just $95 a month to rent a house, with Section 8 housing subsidies picking up the rest. She’s not working and receives Pell Grants to help pay her tuition at Oklahoma State University’s branch campus in Oklahoma City.

Unlike other family members, though, Potts said she is determined to leave government aid behind. She just received an associate degree in police science and plans to begin work this fall on a bachelor’s in criminal justice. She wants to become a probation and parole officer for juvenile offenders.

Text Only
Local News
  • DHS opens lecture series

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental

    July 23, 2014

  • ‘Magic Kids’ get royal treatment

    A Moore elementary student is among three metro children honored by Oklahoma City radio station, KMGL-FM, as “Magic Kids” for their outstanding contributions to their families, schools and local communities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Toothpick holders’ convention coming

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collectio

    July 23, 2014

  • Gang member charged in shooting

    An Oklahoma City man police identified as a gang member was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon Thursday after sh

    July 23, 2014

  • Angels protect us

    A co-worker unpacked a box of copy machine paper from a cardboard box and got a nasty paper cut. Because the source was cardboard, it was deeper than most and the bleeding was difficult to stop.

    July 23, 2014

  • Southmoore student wins gold at National FCCLA

    More than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country recen

    July 23, 2014

  • Moore shut out of prevention aid

    As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter. Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

    July 22, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community back together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new.

    July 22, 2014

  • Panel explains forced labor system

    Many topics were discussed over the course of three days during the 2014 Oklahoma Judicial Conference, but one of the newest issues

    July 22, 2014

  • City council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide