Murphy seeks to put a face on new suburban poverty

January 8, 2014

In an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Alexandra Murphy, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ford School's National Poverty Center, comments on the invisibility of and unique challenges facing the suburban poor. In 2009, Murphy moved to Penn Hills, a suburb of Pittsburgh, in order to research and put a face on new suburban poverty.

Since 2000, the greatest share of poor people in the United States live in the suburbs, a dramatic shift that Murphy notes we do not know much about. In the article, she explains that, "one of the biggest challenges is just recognizing that [suburban poverty] is there in the first place." Unique circumstances facing the suburban poor include a lack of local social services agencies equipped to deal with their concerns and limited access to public transportation.