mCDOWELL COUNTY, wv
Last summer, a team from Legacy Church went to serve in McDowell County, West Virginia. The team went in honor of one of our Legacy Church heroes, Andy Yost. We are partnering with the organization Experience Mission to send 44 people back across the mountains. The poverty level is extremely low, and the upkeep of houses is nearly impossible for many families. Join us to impact this community with a message of hope!
About McDowell County
When the area first became known as McDowell County over 150 years ago, the area was considered almost completely inaccessible. Railroads and roads have since improved the accessibility of the area and when McDowell County's coal production was at its peak, the population rose to nearly 100,000 residents. Today, the area is sparsely populated with less than 28,000 residents throughout the entire county.
Poverty in McDowell County has traveled down through the generations since their economy began to decline in the 1950s. This poverty is escalated due to the region's remote location and the loss of a middle class who either left in search of a new life or were forced into poverty. In 1990, over 50% of all children in McDowell County were living in families who lived below the poverty level.
According to the 2000 US Census, only 50% of adults living in McDowell County had received a high school diploma. Beyond that, less than 6% had received a college diploma. The median income of the area is less than $17,000 a year. As poverty has increased, there have also been increased rates of domestic abuse, suicide, and substance abuse.
Many of the people living in poverty have overlooked basic home repairs as the need to provide food and a roof for their families has risen to the top of their priorities. Homes have gone into disrepair and are in dire need of fixing up. Leaking roofs and floors have caused many homes to become unhealthy living environments.