As grim as the numbers are, Monsignor Joseph P. Kelly anticipated worse.
New U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday showed deepening poverty across Northeast Pennsylvania, particularly among children.
In Scranton, more than one of every three children – a whopping 33.5 percent – lived in poverty in 2012. Throughout the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton metro area, the rate was one in four among kids and one in six across the entire population.
“I’m not surprised other than I thought the numbers would be higher overall,” said Monsignor Kelly, executive director of Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton.
That he was wrong didn’t make him feel any better about the figures or the misery they represent.
“I don’t know how our families are surviving,” he said. “There is little or no help.”