A Times investigation of region economic data last year showed 13 cities and towns spanning Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties have higher percentages of poverty than the national average.
Nationally, about 15 percent of Americans live in poverty, according to previous U.S. Census estimates. In Lake County, that number climbs to nearly 20 percent; in LaPorte County, 17 percent.
Leading the way is Gary, where 39 percent of residents were living below the federally defined poverty line, according to 2012 census estimates.
The Lake Area United Way deserves credit for making some tough decisions. It means a big change for the organizations that have grown accustomed to funding from the large nonprofit.
But in the end, the Lake Area United Way has chosen to serve the greater good of those most in need by focusing on struggling families already trying to help themselves.