By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Child Poverty Action Lab reports right now, one in three children in Dallas are living in poverty.

Lack of affordable housing, food, healthcare and education are just some of the many stresses of childhood poverty.

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“When we look at other major cities, Dallas has about the third highest childhood poverty rate in the nation,” Child Poverty Action Lab President and CEO Alan Cohen said.

In Dallas, more than 100,000 children are currently unable to achieve a minimum, decent standard of living.

The nonprofit has just been given their largest grant to date from The Dallas Foundation to address this. The $750,000 will go specifically towards helping those ages 0-3.

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“We know that so much brain development happens in a child’s first three years and so what would it look like to ensure that they actually have all the tools that they need in the first three years of life,” Dallas Foundation President and CEO Matthew Randazzo said. “Quality care, language development, healthcare so that we can send these kiddos into preschool and into our K-12 public school system having developed the capacity to learn and thrive.”

“One of the best ways that we can break this vicious cycle of poverty is by reaching children during their most developmentally critical years. We can see so clearly in the data that every dollar that we invest during these critical years returns 13 fold and truly can change the trajectory of a child’s life. One of the things that’s really important to understand about poverty is that it’s an intergenerational cycle. So a child born today in poverty is significantly more likely to be a parent of a child in poverty,” said Cohen.

Cohen said by putting a priority on access to basic needs, strong family relationships, safe environments, quality education and increasing family income the organization hopes to reduce childhood poverty in Dallas by 50% within a single generation.

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Erin Jones