Community Status Report

PUBLICATION YEAR 2021 | VOLUME 22

Download the Full Report

For seventy-five years, Lubbock Area United Way has been taking on the charge of creating a stronger community. By focusing on extensive collaboration with local partner agencies, businesses, government officials, schools, community coalitions, and other stakeholders, United Way has been dedicated to addressing the most significant challenges of our community. A key part of this work is the publication of the Community Status Report.

This report provides information on education, safety, health, economics, and other topics aimed at bringing awareness to the many needs of the South Plains community. By identifying and understanding these underlying issues and problems, we can begin to work towards building a better community for all. 

As stated in last year’s report, the need for this community collaboration is more crucial now. The needs of our neighbors in 2020 shifted faster than ever before. While many experienced temporary needs due to COVID-19, others are still facing the after-effects of the pandemic. Organizations across the community are focused on filling in service gaps across the South Plains whether through new or existing programs. Increasing collaboration, sustaining programs, and providing access to resources and information continue to be curricula to effectively serve all in need for years to come.

Lubbock Area United Way has been at the forefront of community-wide service,  education, and collaboration for 75 years. This work only continues to grow thanks to the efforts of its Community Partners and other stakeholders. With your support, we will continue our mission of Giving • People • Hope.

 

In the Report

PRIORITIES

The Lubbock Area United Way board met in 2021 for a planning session and after much discussion, decided to continue with the current priority areas that were established in 2017. The board and staff will work to monitor existing issues, establish goals and outcomes for the agency, and identify what United Way’s role is in addressing the issues.  In addition, further consideration and discussion will be given to the areas of poverty, mental health and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

It should be noted there are some common themes that run throughout each area: awareness, advocacy, education, and collaboration. Also, none of the solutions solely involve funding by United Way or other sources. Yet, an ongoing examination of how United Way invests donors’ contributions to best address the needs of the Lubbock area is of the utmost importance to continue a long-standing commitment to accountability.

Priorities

INDICATORS

Indocators

POVERTY & ECONOMIC MOBILITY

United Ways across Texas fight for the health, education, and financial stability of evcycleery person in every community.

Research demonstrates that living in poverty has a wide range of negative effects on the well-being of individuals, children, and families. While living in poverty or in areas without economic mobility does not directly cause community issues, poverty is linked with homelessness, lack of health care, unsafe neighborhoods, poor academic achievement and literacy, child abuse and neglect, proper physical and mental health, food insecurity, and so much more. 

“To help children grow into prepared, productive adults, parents need jobs with family-sustaining pay, affordable housing, and the ability to invest in their children’s future. When parents are unemployed or earn low wages, their access to resources to support their kids’ development is more limited, which can undermine their children’s health and prospects for success in school and beyond.” (Kids Count 2021)

Most, if not all, of the issues mentioned throughout this report have a direct correlation with poverty. When addressing these issues, it is very common for organizations and programs to focus on youth and child success.

If you can educate and equip children early, community problems should decrease across a few decades. While this may be helpful in theory, in application it is much more complex. Without the right family and support systems in place, children and communities will suffer. Having access to a liveable wage and economic mobility is key to building a foundation of success for all.

 
The Lubbock County unemployment rate has been steadily declining over the past 10 years. The rate fell from 3.1 in 2018 to 2.4 in 2019. However, the rate jumped to 10.0% in April 2020. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey) The rate as of June 2021 for Lubbock County is 5.3.
While this may be an indicator of a thriving workforce, there are still many in the area who struggle to survive despite being employed.

 


ALICE

ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed—households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living for the county. Combined, the number of ALICE and poverty-level households equals the total population struggling to afford basic needs. 

While conditions have improved for some households over the past few years, many continue to struggle, especially as wages fail to keep pace with the cost of household essentials. It should also be noted that this data is prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. (United For ALICE)Pie Chart

Lubbock County Population: 307,412 
Median Household Income: $50,505 (state average: $60,629)
Average 2019 Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (state average: 5.6%)
ALICE Households: 30% (state average: 30%)  
Households in Poverty: 18% (state average: 14%)
Number of Households: 115,686

Total Percentage


Income & Household Essentials

“The Household Survival Budget reflects the bare minimum cost to live and work in the modern economy and includes housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, technology (a smartphone plan), and taxes. It does not include savings for emergencies or future goals like college or retirement. In 2018, household costs were well above the Federal Poverty Level of $12,140 for a single adult and $25,100 for a family of four.”

Chart

 


Housing

From March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, 22.1% of all 2-1-1 requests were regarding Housing and Shelter. Of those needs requests, 53.8% were specifically for rent assistance and 21% were for low-cost housing.

On average, individuals need an hourly wage of $14.10 to afford a one-bedroom rental in Lubbock. This is equivalent to $29,320 annual salary. Without paying more than 30% of income on housing - it would take an individual working 78 hours per week at minimum wage to meet this cost. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)

“Paying too much for housing limits the resources families have for other necessities such as child care, food, health care and transportation, as well as their ability to save and achieve financial stability.” (Kids Count)

 


COVID-19 Relief

In addition to continuing existing programs and services, many organizations across the South Plains took on additional services to combat the effects of COVID-19. In addition to the $1.6 million distributed by Lubbock Area United Way and the Community Foundation of West Texas through the South Plains COVID-19 Relief Fund, other federal funding became available. Catholic Charities and Upbring distributed more than $2.28 million in Rent and Utility Assistance for the City of Lubbock’s Community Development funding. The Emergency Food and Shelter Program also distributed $131,927 in CARES funding to local nonprofits.

 


Economic Mobility

Through their Elderly Outreach and Parent Empowerment Programs (PEP), Catholic Charities aims to assist low-income families with services to help them become as financially independent as possible. They assisted 260 individuals in 2020.

Goodwill Industries’ mission is to create job opportunities for people with barriers to employment. Their Training, Placement, and Life-Skills (T-PALS program) served 199 individuals in 2020 through virtual classes. This program carries out their belief that an individual’s life, the lives of their family, and their community as a whole, can be changed for the better through their ability to earn a steady paycheck.

 


Food Insecurityfood insecurity

22.5% of children in Texas were food insecure before COVID-19, despite supports like the National School Lunch Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the South Plains Food Bank. Black and Hispanic families are disproportionately facing financial stressors underlying food insecurity.

“Several neighborhoods in Lubbock County have limited access to food pantries and community services due to social barriers. These barriers include lack of transportation, disabilities, lack of time and resources among single-parent households, difficulties navigating food benefit options due to language and literacy barriers, and fear of repercussions based on immigrant status.” (Children At Risk) 

POPULATION

Household Income

“Overall, the races and ethnicities of ALICE households mirror those of the total state population. Yet some groups still face economic and systemic barriers that limit their earnings and make them more likely to live below the ALICE Threshold.”

Household income chart

 


Voting

More than 159 million Americans voted in 2020. This was the largest voter turnout in U.S. history and about 7% higher than in 2016. (Pew Research Center)

Percentage of registered voters

 

Who's Voting?

Non-Hispanic White Americans make up the largest share of registered voters in the U.S., at 69% of the total as of 2019. Hispanic and Black registered voters each account for 11% of the total, while those from other racial or ethnic backgrounds account for the remainder (8%). 

Around two-thirds of registered voters in the U.S. (65%) do not have a college degree.

Christians account for the majority of registered voters in the U.S. (64%). But this figure is down from 79% as recently as 2008. The share of voters who identify as religiously unaffiliated has nearly doubled during that span, from 15% to 28%.

As for Lubbock County, 120,204 of 183,320 (65.57%) of registered voters cast a ballot in 2020. This was the highest percentage of turnout since 1992.

 


Demographics in Lubbock County

As seen across the state and nation, the overall population continues to shift. Texas’ Hispanic population is on track to be the largest population group as soon as 2022. This trend is evident across the South Plains and in Lubbock County. The shift in overall population further emphasizes the need for nonprofits and organizations to ensure their leadership matches the demographics they serve.

In addition to this change, the median age in the City of Lubbock is 30.49. This compares to a median age of 35.22 in Texas and 38.65 in the U.S.

Demographics

46        TEXAS RANK FOR OVERALL CHILD WELL-BEING (KIDS COUNT)

 


Foster Care

Lubbock is a part of Region 1 Community-Based Care (CBC) roll-out as designated by the state and The Department of Family and Protective Services. Saint Francis Ministries took over as the contractor for all of Region 1 and began implementing Stage 1 of CBC in January 2020.

The focus of Stage 1 is for Saint Francis to develop a network of services and provide foster care placement services. They are charged with improving the overall well-being of children in foster care and keeping them closer to home and connected to their communities and families. 

Lubbock County consistently faces high rates of child abuse and neglect. Collaboration among Saint Francis Ministries, local service providers, existing groups like the South Plains Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention, and other community stakeholders will be key in moving forward as the new system is built.

 


Population Growth

Lubbock is the 11th largest city in Texas, the 2nd largest west of Interstate 35 and is projected to grow 7% through 2022. The 2020 Census estimated a total population of 312,832 for Lubbock County but results have not yet been received. By 2025, total projection is 331,839.

“Lubbock’s age structure differs substantially from the national and state patterns. This is mainly attributed to our large college-age population found at Texas Tech University. Over one-fourth of the City of Lubbock’s population (26%) falls between the ages of 21 and 34, compared to 19% for the U.S. and 20% in Texas overall.” (LEDA)

 


Women's Labor Force

Before the pandemic, women contributed more than 50% of the country’s workforce, underlining their importance to the economy. Participation is now at a 33-year low. This is one year after women in the U.S. hit a milestone by holding the majority of non-farm jobs, outnumbering men in the workplace in February 2020. Nearly a million American mothers left the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When looking at men and women age 25-54 who have children, unemployment for men was 3.1 compared to 5.7 for women as of February 2021.

EDUCATION

*Region 17 is one of 20 regional service organizations created by the Texas Legislature and the Texas Board of Education in 1965. All Lubbock area school districts are located in Region 17.

Lubbock Area United Way Priority #1: To ensure that all children are school-ready by Kindergarten and are grade-level readers by 3rd grade.

For years, the Lubbock Area United Way has been committed to furthering early childhood education and literacy. This commitment was furthered by establishing the priorities listed above. By establishing events and initiatives such as United We Read and Start Smart Texas, Lubbock Area United Way continues to bring awareness to the importance of reading to and with children. 

“The architecture of a child’s brain is built during his or her first 1,000 days, laying a foundation for long-term learning, health, and behaviors. A weak foundation can have lasting impacts well into adulthood.” (Children at Risk) 

In addition, Reading proficiency by the end of third grade is a critical milestone toward high school graduation and success later in life because it marks the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” “Children who reach fourth grade without being able to read proficiently are more likely to struggle academically and eventually drop out of school.” (Kids Count)

Start SmartUnited We Read

 Lubbock County has a 13% adult illiteracy rate. 
(Texas Center for the Advancement of Literacy and Learning)

 


Economically Disadvantaged Children

Despite a slight drop in the 2017-2018 school year, Region 17 is once again showing significant numbers of economically disadvantaged children for the 2019-2020 school year. The current 62.6% rate is consistently higher than the state average of 60.2%.

Research shows growing up in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy childhood development. “It increases the likelihood that a child will be exposed to factors that can impair brain development and lead to poor academic, cognitive, and health outcomes.” (Kids Count)

This is also significantly higher among different ethnic groups. “In 2018, the poverty rate among African-American and American Indian children (32% and 31%) was three times the rate for white and Asian and Pacific Islander children (11% for both). The poverty rate for Latino children (26%) was higher than the national average.” (Kids Count)

Economically disadvantaged children

 


Beyond the classroom

Another key component of childhood success comes from identifying other learning, social, and emotional needs that may be barriers to academic achievement. Research indicates that providing mentors or adult advocates for at-risk students is an effective strategy. Going beyond the classroom through partnerships with other organizations can help bridge the gaps the public education system, and many families, lack the resources to address. 

Agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, Lubbock Boys & Girls Clubs, Girl Scouts, Guadalupe-Parkway Neighborhood Centers, and the YW-CARE with the YWCA take student support beyond the classroom to help students in need.

After school closures in March 2020, the YWCA re-shaped their programs and began focusing more on tutoring, completing homework, and educational curriculum throughout the summer and 2020-2021 school year. This helped ensure education and academic growth remained a priority for youth and filled a much-needed gap in the community.

 


Access to affordable childcare

A key to establishing a strong foundation for children is access to quality, affordable childcare. These programs play a key role in preparing students for school and educational success. Yet, infant care in Texas costs 7.8% more per year than in-state tuition for four-year public college. Care for one child would cost up to 15.7% of a medium family’s income. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), child care is affordable if it costs no more than 7% of a family’s income. (Economic Policy Institute) A minimum wage worker in Texas would need to work full time for 32 weeks just to pay for child care for one infant.

Lack of access to affordable childcare forces many parents to change jobs or leave the workforce all together due to childcare obligations. This was more evident in 2020 as large portions of the workforce, primarily women, left jobs to take care of children during closures.

The Early Learning Centers of Lubbock provides affordable, high-quality childcare. 93% of the families enrolled are low-income and their childcare fees are based on a sliding fee scale, making childcare affordable to all. This access allows parents and caregivers to work, attend school, or other trainings because their children are taken care of.

 


Educational Success

Despite improvements across the region and state, Region 17 continues to fall 3-4% behind the state average in the number of students who are scoring at approaching grade level, meeting grade level and above grade level during the 2019 STARR test. While STAAR scores for Region 17 are not yet available, state results are showing the initial impacts of COVID-19. “As a result of the learning disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students not meeting grade-level increased from 2019 across all subject areas and grade levels, with English I and English II being the only exceptions.” (Texas Education Agency) Our community should continue to monitor progress of students as we will be seeing the effects of these school closures and school-from-home for years to come.

STAAR results
                                      (Texas Education Agency)

During the 2019-2020 school year, Communities in Schools of the South Plains provided case management services to 3,248 at-risk students, with 100% staying in school, 90% improving in academics, and 97% promoted to the next grade. They serve students aged Pre-K through 12th at 75 campuses across the South Plains. 85% of the students they serve are economically disadvantaged.

SAFETY

Domestic Violence

Lubbock Area United Way priority #2: To eliminate child abuse and sex trafficking in our communities.

Family violence ratesLubbock County had more than double the rate of Family Violence (1,496 per 100,000 population) compared to the state average (690 per 100,000 population) in 2018. 

The Legal Aid Society of Lubbock’s Family Legal Services program exists to assist disadvantaged families with their legal needs. Of the 1,142 cases they assisted within 2020 over 70% involved victims of domestic or sexual violence. Through their partnership with Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock (WPS), they are able to send an attorney to the shelter twice a week. Beyond this partnership, WPS was able to assist 1,482 individuals through their residential and non-residential programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Child Abuse and Neglect

Confirmed victims “Parents struggling with financial hardship have fewer resources available to foster their children’s development and are more prone to face severe stress and depression, which can interfere with effective parenting. These findings underscore the importance of two-generation approaches to ending poverty, which addresses the needs of parents and children to help them succeed together. Where families live also matters. When communities are safe and have strong institutions, good schools and quality support services, families and their children are more likely to thrive.” (Kids Count 2021)

Child abuse rates in Lubbock County hit a record low with a rate of 12.8 per 1,000 children in 2020. However, experts believe this number is grossly underreported through COVID-19 and rates are expected to increase through 2021.

Many victims services agencies are already seeing numbers more 
on-track with previous year’s rates despite lower numbers served last year. CASA of the South Plains served 590 children while Children’s Advocacy Center served 4,218 through programs in 2020. Both of these agencies provide crucial services and supports to victims of child abuse and neglect and sex trafficking and their families.

While victim services are much needed on the South Plains, prevention strategies are the key to stopping these crimes before they occur. The Parenting Cottage utilizes parenting education aimed at increase school readiness, decreasing the achievement gap among poverty and non-poverty households, and preventing child abuse and neglect. In 2020, they provided services to 420 individuals and families through their Parents as Teachers program.

 


Sex and Labor Trafficking

89% of child victims in active sex trafficking cases in the U.S. in 2020 were between 14 - 17 years old. 

“In 2020, the top victim vulnerabilities in active cases were substance dependency (38%), having run away from home (28%), undocumented immigration status (17%), homelessness (10%), being in the foster care system (10%), having been previously trafficked (8%), limited English language skills (6%), financial debt (4%,), intellectual disabilities (4%), and prior incarceration (2%). (Trafficking Institute)

Continuing the trend from 2013, the internet was once again the most common (41%, 244) location for active sex trafficking cases in 2020. In fact, 59% of online victim recruitment in active sex trafficking cases occurred on Facebook, making it by far the most frequently referenced website or app in public sources connected with these prosecutions, which was also true in 2019. After Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were the most frequently used for recruiting child victims.

Voice of Hope continues to spearhead efforts to address the issues of child and adult sex trafficking in Lubbock and the West Texas Region. Through their sexual assault intervention and prevention programs, they were able to assist 326 individuals in 2020. 

Lubbock now has one of eight Care Coordination Teams in the state through a partnership with Children’s Advocacy Center, Voice of Hope, the Office of the Texas Governor, and other area partners. The team will implement the multi-disciplinary coordination of investigation, prosecution, service planning, and delivery for victims of child sex trafficking.   

 


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)

Issues such as child abuse or neglect, sex trafficking, domestic violence are all traumatic experiences that impact the victim for the rest of their lives. Trauma can change the make-up of your brain which makes preventing early trauma key to improving adult health. “Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. ACEs can include violence, abuse, and growing up in a family with mental health or substance use problems. Toxic stress from ACEs can change brain development and affect how the body responds to stress. ACEs are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood.” (CDC) It should be noted that the impacts of poverty may increase toxic stress and trauma.

ACES

 


Crime in Lubbock

In 2019, the rates of rape, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft, and child abuse and neglect were all up in Lubbock County. Meanwhile, rates of murder and aggravated assault were both down.

Compared to Texas rates, the Lubbock County rates are higher in every single area except for murder which was slighlty less than the state (4.8). (FBI and TXDPS)

Rape and child abuse and neglect rates saw the most dramatic increases with a 7.7% increase in rapes and a 12.4% increase in child abuse and neglect.

Lubbock crime
                                         *Rates per 100,000 people

 

HEALTH

COVID-19

As we reflect on 2020 health data, we would be remiss not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the issues discussed throughout this report were complicated, and in many cases - worsened, due to COVID-19. Poverty, economic mobility and stability, education, childcare, safety, and mental health all suffered setbacks as children and families' lives were interrupted unlike ever before. We will still be facing the effects of this pandemic for years to come. 

“To succeed, families must have good health, both physical and mental, and the health care to maintain it; food and the money to buy it; safe, stable housing and communities; education and the means to access it; and quality child care, without which many parents cannot work. The Great Recession taught us that responses in a crisis are uneven and inequitable without intentional remedies built into public policy...The nation’s well-being depends on ensuring all kids can thrive in a post-pandemic world.” (Kids Count)

Lubbock County
  • Cumulative cases as of 7/25/21: 50,218
  • Rate of Cases (per 100k): 16,658.6
  • Lubbock County COVID-19 Death Rate: 1.59%
  • Jobless Claims since March 21, 2020: 57,572
Texas
  • Cumulative cases as of 7/29/21: 2,628,438
  • Rate of Cases (per 100k): 9,063.57
  • COVID-19 Death Rate: 1.97%
  • Jobless Claims since March 14, 2020: 8.5 million

Vaccination Status

Cases by gender


Diabetes Crisis

Upbring’s Health for Friends Clinic is a nurse-managed clinic in Lubbock that provides quality services for people who might not be able to otherwise have access to health care because they cannot afford health insurance. Often, this means their illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, poor nutrition, high cholesterol, and obesity are left untreated. Upbring’s nurse-managed clinics provide quality services to help address these issues. However, many clinics and outreach sites have not been reopened after shutting down for COVID-19. Meaning many in need no longer have access to the care they need.

Lubbock County had 28.6 deaths per 100,000 people from diabetes versusDiabetes rates 20.3 for the State. Diabetes care can be compromised by untreated mental illness and there is a significant link between diabetes and depression as well, with depression occurring in 25% of people with diabetes. (Meadows Report)

 

 


Mental Health

The West Texas Mental Health Collaborative is working to improve coordination of mental health services across various organizations and working to reduce duplication of services to positively impact the lives of community members. By commissioning the comprehensive mental health needs assessment through the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute, they are beginning to understand the needs of the region and working to coordinate and expand efforts to provide mental health services to all in need.

1,223 individuals, families, and youth experiencing social, emotional, or relational problems regained some personal well-being through affordable, high-quality counseling services in 2020 through Family Counseling Services. Telehealth services and programs at assisted living facilities were two new initiatives started in 2020.

 


Women's Health

*All rates are per 100,000 women

Texas is ranked 28th in terms of overall health and well-being of women. (Institute for Women’s Policy Research)

The physical and mental health outcomes among women vary across racial and ethnic groups in Lubbock County.

  • The mortality rate overall for Black women (273.5) is nearly double that of White women (145.7); Hispanic women have a rate of 159.4.
  • The mortality rate from diabetes for Black Women is 82.7 which is 68.1% higher than the rate for Hispanic women and over three times higher than the rate for White women (18).
  • White women in Texas have the highest suicide mortality rate, more than double or even triple any other race.
  • In Texas, about 20 in every 100,000 women die from breast cancer with mortality rates ranging from 9.6 (Asian/Pacific Islander) to 28.4 (Black).
  • It is estimated 1 in 8 women experiences postpartum depression.
  • Women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
  • 81.7% of Lubbock County women aged 18-64 have health insurance (2015) compared to 78% of Texas Women. Both still fall behind the national average of 88.4%

The YWCA’s Women’s Health Initiative is the sole Breast Cervical Cancer Services provider for women age 50-64 (breast) and 18-64 (cervical) in the South Plains. 251 women received services through this program in 2020. 

 


Access to Healthcare

Every person deserves affordable and accessible healthcare. Access to this care is the first step in ensuring the overall health and wellness of children and families. “Texas has the words rate of child health insurance coverage in the nation - one in four uninsured U.S. children live here. Hispanic children are twice as likely as others to be uninsured.” (American Community Survey, 2019) Access to health insurance and affordable health care helps prevent diseases and disabilities, can detect and treat illnesses or other health conditions, improves quality of life, and reduced the likelihood of premature death. While progress has been made in Lubbock County, much is still needed to be done to ensure the most vulnerable populations in our community obtain access to care.

In 2016, 2.6 million nonelderly adults in the U.S. fell into the Medicaid coverage gap, meaning they had incomes between the federal poverty level and Medicaid eligibility. 26% of those lived in Texas; 56% are women and 68% are people of color.

 

Estimate of Lubbock Country Residents Without Health Insurance

Residents without health insurance

 

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Overall

Key Takeaways

Overall, much of the data and research typically published to help determine this report were either unavailable or not updated in 2020. So much of the world’s energy went into tracking, surviving, and recovering from COVID-19 that big reports and research projects were set aside. Despite the challenges, this preparation for this report uncovered several key takeaways.

  • By 2025, Lubbock County’s population is projected to be 331,839.
  • 48% of families struggle to afford basic needs in Lubbock County.
  • The percentage of students at or above criterion in college entrance exams increased from 18.5% in the 2017-2018 school year to 29.5% in the 2018-2019 school year. 
  • The number of children in poverty increased from 2018 to 2019 with 21.2% of Lubbock County children being in poverty.
  • The Lubbock County unemployment rate has been steadily declining over the past 10 years. The rate fell from 3.1 in 2018 to 2.4 in 2019. However, the rate jumped to 10.0% in April 2020.
  • On average, individuals need an hourly wage of $14.10 to afford a one-bedroom rental in Lubbock. 
  • 22.5% of children in Texas were food insecure before COVID-19
  • More than 159 million Americans voted in 2020. This was the largest voter turnout in U.S. history and about 7% higher than in 2016. 
  • Texas ranks 46th for overall child well-being
  • Women participation in the workforce is at a 33-year low
  • Research shows growing up in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy childhood development.
  • Infant care in Texas costs 7.8% more per year than in-state tuition for four-year public college. 
  • Child abuse rates in Lubbock County hit a record low with a rate of 12.8 per 1,000 children in 2020. However, experts believe this number is grossly underreported through COVID-19, and rates are expected to increase through 2021.
  • 59% of online victim recruitment in active sex trafficking cases occurred on Facebook
  • In 2019, the rates of rape, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft, and child abuse and neglect were all up in Lubbock County. Meanwhile, rates of murder and aggravated assault were both down.

As stated earlier in this report, research demonstrates that living in poverty has a wide range of negative effects on the well-being of individuals, children, and families. This was shown throughout the report in the Poverty and Economic Mobility, Population, Education, Safety, and Health sections. Solving the many issues highlighted will involve extensive collaboration, innovation, and a willingness to implement a multi-generational approach to ending poverty.

 


Things Lubbock Area United Way is looking for

  • 2020 Census – The census is our #1 community tool in ensuring we have the state and federal resources we need to accurately serve our population. The household information provided dictates how many state and national representatives we are allocated, how much state and federal funding our community gets for hospitals, roads, and free lunch programs, and so much more. It is reported that response rates were very low but specific results have not been released.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Lubbock Area United Way is continuing to evaluate our role in diversity, equity, and inclusion across the South Plains. Taking this work beyond just a diversity statement is key and is at the top of our priority list. Initial efforts and community education are in progress with the goal of implementation in 2022.
  • Updated data – 2021 STAAR results, updated health data, educational statistics post-COVID-19, local economic information, and employment statistics are all being monitored for future reports. Hopefully, as agencies and organizations have time to focus on things other than COVID-19, more of the regular research and reports will continue and become available.
  • Nonprofit Revenue Recovery- Many nonprofits, including Lubbock Area United Way, saw decreases in revenue throughout 2020. However, rebounding and recovering the funds lost will be key to the survival and sustainability of many programs and services across the South Plains.

 


How you can help

  • Volunteer – Nonprofits across the South Plains depend on volunteers to run their organizations, serve clients, and further their mission. Yet, both the Texas and national rates of volunteers giving their time and talent to nonprofits have declined since 2002. Moreover, Texans have stopped participating at a higher rate than the rest of the country. Find a cause that speaks to you and get involved. The Volunteer Center of Lubbock is a great place to get started.
  • Give – Financial gifts to the Lubbock Area United Way and other nonprofits help ensure greater program sustainability and are key to creating positive change on the South Plains.
  • Advocate – Policies and legislation create the systems we live by every day. Find the issues you care about, do the research, vote, and speak up to legislators and representatives about what is best for your clients. A government is only as good as its people – so let’s do our part.
  • Get Help – There is no shame in needing help. Whether that is with mental health, physical health, parenting skills, education, job skills, access to food, or any other need, there are people willing to help. Call 2-1-1 to get started. 
  • Giving •  People • Hope – We never know the struggles each of us goes through on a daily basis. COVID-19, racial injustice, and political unrest have our country in a state of turmoil. A little kindness, some grace, and a lot of hope can go a long way. 

SOURCES

2019 County Health Rankings
American Psychological Association
Axios
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Lubbock
CASA of the South Plains
Center for Disease Control
Children at Risk
Children’s Advocacy Center of the South Plains
Communities in Schools of the South Plains
Early Learning Centers of Lubbock
Economic Policy Institute
Family Counseling Services
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Feeding America
Goodwill Industries of Northwest Texas
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
Kids Count 2021
Legal Aid Society of Lubbock
Lubbock Economic Development Alliance
Meadows Institute
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Low Income Housing Coalition
Parenting Cottage
Pew Research Center
Texas 2036
Texas Department of Family Protective Services
Texas Department of Public Safety

Texas Department of State Health Services 
Texas Education Agency
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas Workforce Commission
Trafficking Institute
TX Center for the Advancement of Literacy & Learning Upbring
U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey
United for ALICE Report
Voice of Hope
Women’s Protective Services of Lubbock
YWCA of Lubbock
 

Credits

Eugene Wang, Ph.D.
Consultant

Devin McCain
Vice President, Community Impact
Lubbock Area United Way

Amanda McAfee
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Lubbock Area United Way

Report Sponsors

City of Lubbock

Covenant Health

 

Lubbock ISD

 

https://www.lubbockcounty.gov/

 

 

StarCare Specialty Health System

UMC Health System