39 Percent of Dallas Residents at Risk of Slipping Into Poverty

Study shows four in 10 people don't have enough savings.

By Amanda Guerra
|  Thursday, Feb 16, 2012  |  Updated 9:37 PM CDT
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New numbers show 39 percent of Dallas residents are at risk for slipping into poverty.

Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News

New numbers show 39 percent of Dallas residents are at risk for slipping into poverty.

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A recent study shows that 39 percent of the people in Dallas would be at the poverty line in three months if they lost their job tomorrow.

"That's almost four in 10 people in Dallas are at that level," Mayor Mike Rawlings said. "That should shock us, and that should make us sit up and take notice."

The study was presented at the Communities Foundation of Texas.

Rawlings said it boils down to financial education -- learning and knowing how to save money.

Clay Howard, a Dallas resident who was at a workforce office looking for a job, said it didn't take long for his money to run out after he lost his job.

When the economy started to go south, his company downsized and laid him off. He said he was desperate for money after three months.

"Roughly about three months before, I began to realize it's getting harder and harder," he said.

People at the workforce office said everyone should save all they can.

"Every day I'm here filling out applications, like 10 to 20 every day," said Lashondra Miller, a mother of four.

Miller and Howard said that you never know when your paycheck might not be there anymore.

"Just be thankful every day that you do have a job, and just pray every day you get to keep it," Howard said.

He said he finds himself at the workforce office almost every day.

"It's been hell, basically," he said. "You get up with hopes of finding work but leave at the end of the day getting discouraged."

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