Community reacts to RGV cities being named poorest in the nation

Homelessness in Cameron County

The Brownsville-Harlingen is now considered the poorest city in the nation with more people living below the poverty line than any other metropolitan area.

Brownsville is a growing metropolitan area where nearly 200,000 people call home.

Marybeth Martin has lived here for over two decades and has seen tremendous growth.

"It is shocking to hear, but I can see that there is validity to that because why we do have some economic growth and positive changes. We also have a large number of people who do need extra help, she explained.

Martin is referring to the newly released data that revealed nearly 2 out of every 5 Brownsville and Harlingen residents are living below the poverty line.

Meanwhile, Jessie Quijas isn't quite as shocked, but says the cost of living here is cheaper than other parts in other parts of the country.

"The conditions, the economy down here it is cheaper it TMs not as expensive as per se you go up north or out of state, he said.

Quijas adds that does not mean there aren't those who need a helping hand.

"Let's identify it. How do we go about and try to help these people?"

While there are many government programs to help needy families, Quijas says just giving them a free assistance will not change the statistics.

"I don TMt believe these people want hand outs. They want work; they want to feel like they can produce, make money and keep that circle cycle flowing so everyone is maintaining and everyone is making out well, he said.

Quijas loves calling Brownsville home, but he would like to see more long-term solutions to help his fellow community members in need.

The Brownsville-Harlingen area is not the only metropolitan area in the valley to make the top of that list.

The McAllen, Edinburg, Mission metropolitan area came in as the second poorest city in the U.S.

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