The nation's poverty rate is defying expert predictions. They expected the rates to go up for a fourth straight year but it held steady at 15%.
The official poverty line for a family of four is $23,021 a year. Tulare, Fresno and Merced counties have poverty rates between 21 and 23%. Those are the highest rates in the valley. But the Fresno E.O.C. is hoping to combat those rates with a program called Conservation Corps. It's designed to give young adults vocational training so they're ready for the job market.
"The notion that young people don't want to work is false. It's not enough to just be members in the community. We want our kids to leaders in the community," said Shawn Riggins with Conservation Corps.
Forty-six million people in the country live below the poverty line. New Mexico has the highest share of poor people followed by Louisiana.