Updated January 2018
Family Well-Being Overview
Nearly 1 in 5 San Antonians live in poverty and measuring the poverty rate will tell us little from one year to the next, but must be studied over the course of many years. If we see better results across-the board in areas like high school graduation rates, unemployment, healthcare access, and teen pregnancy, however, then we can expect to see an eventual shift in the poverty rate. We are seeing gains in some of these areas, but need to apply pressure in those that are not moving, or not moving quickly enough, to impact poverty.
In other areas, we saw underemployment dip slightly, but still remain relatively flat since 2010. Underemployment essentially tells the story of people working full-time, yet still living in poverty. Homelessness numbers also continue to decline. In 2015, we exceeded our 2020 goal for decreasing the number of confirmed child abuse cases. These findings should be taken cautiously, however, as these rates are highly dependent on reporting which results in a child abuse case being substantiated. In a recent report, CI:Now (SA2020’s data partner) showed additional information that helped tell a more complex story of child abuse that is “less about a decrease in abuse and neglect” and more about “the system’s ability to timely and appropriately address and confirm or rule out abuse/neglect” (Child Abuse and Neglect in Bexar County, July 2016). Basically, additional indicators from this report show that abuse and neglect is just as frequent, yet completed investigations are declining. As part of the SA Tomorrow process, Income Segregation arose as an important measure of success against our vision for Family Well-Being. This is the first year SA2020 began tracking it publicly, and it shows income segregation getting worse since 2010. This shows an increase of segregation in San Antonio by class.
Why is this important?
Strong families are the cornerstone of community progress. They promote education, drive civic engagement, and make economic progress possible. Additionally, families unburdened by health concerns are generally happier, more connected, and more productive. Poverty, as a social issue, affects everyone. The number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods doubled from 2 million in 1970 to 4 million in 2010 (City Observatory, Lost in Place).The repercussions and drivers of poverty extend into quality of life, education, health, and opportunities in ways that ultimately touch every facet of our community. The contributing factors are complex and dynamic, but are captured in one essential fact: the great majority of San Antonio families in poverty do not have access to essential ingredients for prosperity – quality education, high-wage jobs, affordable housing, healthcare, and transportation. In fact, due to a lack of opportunity and high-quality public services, high-poverty neighborhoods have experienced a greater amount of community displacement than gentrifying ones, and the likelihood of a poor neighborhood coming out of poverty is just one in twenty. (City Observatory, Lost in Place). However, living in an income-integrated neighborhood in an urban setting significantly increased the likelihood that a family can move up the economic ladder (City Observatory, Lost in Place). The SA2020 Opportunity Dividend shows that a 1% decrease in the San Antonio metro region’s poverty rate - approximately 22,000 fewer people living in poverty - could yield a $403 million return on public anti-poverty spending (CEOs for Cities, San Antonio SA2020 City Dividends, 2014).
Hixon Properties, a family-owned, San Antonio-based business since 1975, invests not just in real estate but also in the community it serves. With a collective passion for Family Well-Being, as well as Education and Downtown Development, Hixon upholds its philanthropic mission statement and encourages both employees and shareholders to give back to their community. Along with its annual giving program, Hixon Properties furthers its philanthropy with their annual family grant. All shareholders are invited to apply each year for a grant given to a charity of their choice, with the grant awardee selected by a committee of judges. The team at Hixon has a clear vision for what community results they hope to impact, and they give their time, talent, and funds very intentionally to help achieve these goals. With a company like Hixon supporting local nonprofits and initiatives, we know San Antonio is much better positioned to turn our shared vision into our reality.