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Face Of Poverty Changing In Down Economy

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Mike Corpier spent all day Thursday training for new certifications in telecommunications.

His roommate, Johnny Allen, settled in across the hall after work in a warehouse.

Both men have education, training, years of work experience, and they’re motivated to work as much as they need to.

“I can go hit the other job that pays good, work a day there,” Allen said. “Go hit the other job, work a day there.”

Neither man came home though at the end of the day, to a home.

They both live right now at the Arlington Life Shelter, because they’re both homeless.

Assistant executive director of the shelter, Janel Holt, said 80 to 90 percent of people there have at least one job.

People with college degrees have been part of the employment program there.

They’re staying longer, too, sometimes up to 12 weeks.

With the economy struggling, 2010 census numbers out next week could show the United States poverty rate rising again, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, and 13.2 percent in 2008.

Data estimates released from the census this week, showed most people living in poverty are not children or the elderly.

Nearly three out of five people in poverty are now of working age, between 18 and 64.

And with more people looking for jobs, its forcing people like Allen, a military veteran, to go back to school at age 47 and look for something new.

“People have a talent,” said Corpier, who worked for years as an airline mechanic. “They just need to get the right chance, right time, right place.”

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