Childhood Poverty in Colorado

Childhood Poverty in Colorado

191,725 children live below the poverty line in Colorado. Here are the stories of eight families and how they cope. (Denver Post)

Eight families are profiled in this multimedia presentation (made up of brief stories, still photo essays and short video documentaries) produced by the Denver Post as an investigative project on childhood poverty.

“191,725 children live below the poverty line in Colorado,” the Post reports. “These are their stories.”

In the first part, we meet the Razey family of Lamar, Colorado. Michelle Razey, 28, is a single mother who currently lives with her two young children and gay partner in her unemployed mother’s house. The effects of poverty on this family is typified by son Michael, 8, who feels different in school because he is overweight, yet is often given fattening but low-cost fast food to eat. Michael has dreams of being a bull rider or a dirt bike rider, but is negatively impacted by his father’s drug use and his mother’s lack of income. As Michelle Razey put it, “What can you do? This is poverty.”

The still photos and videos in the project are shot in black and white, and are visually beautiful and emotionally compelling. All of the families profiled have hard luck stories laced with drug use, health problems and lack of education, but most express hope that their children will somehow rise above their situation. The children are especially touching, as they find the means to enjoy life even in the depths of poverty.

CHANNEL: Denver Post

Photography: Joe Amon, Hyoung Chang, Andy Cross, Judy DeHaas, Reza Marvashti, RJ Sangosti, Craig F. Walker
Video: Eric Lutzens and Judy DeHaas
Video Editing: Meghan Lyden
Project Production: Judy DeHaas
Reporting and research: Burt Hubbard