This 2018 Community Needs Assessment was conducted following guidelines set forth by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs; however, additional information on poverty is included in the report so that there is a more complete picture of poverty in the Texoma Region, and in Cooke, Fannin, and Grayson Counties. The Texoma region consists of these three counties in north-central Texas. Grayson is the most populous and most urban, while Cooke and Fannin counties have a smaller population and are more rural.
A mixed-methods approach was used to collect data for this assessment. These methods were both qualitative (TCOG Client Lifecycle study, focus groups), and quantitative (US Census data, an organization survey, and regional 2-1-1 call assistance data). Data sources for this assessment include the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2012–2016 (ACS 2016), with 2016 estimates used whenever possible, as well as Community Commons maps, with data usually from the ACS 2016.
This study took two overlapping approaches to understand poverty in the region, demographic (who is more likely to be in poverty), and geographic (where are higher rates of poverty). When addressing poverty in the region, and in the three counties, the aggregate data for poverty does not differ much from Texas and US figures; however, when disaggregated by age, race/ethnicity, education level, and family composition, a different picture of poverty in the region emerges. In all three counties “children under 5” is the age category most likely to live in poverty; in fact, data show that childhood poverty is prevalent in all three counties. Also in all three counties, people of color (Black/African American in Grayson and Fannin counties, Hispanic/Latino in Cooke County) are more likely to live in poverty. The absolute numbers are not extremely high, but the prevalence of poverty is much greater. Education level, of course, is a correlate of poverty, with those having less than a high school diploma much more likely to live in poverty than those having higher levels of education. Overall, poverty rates are higher for female-headed families with children than for married-couple families with children. In fact, female-headed households have some of the highest rates in the region. Maps from Community Commons illustrate where poverty is concentrated in census tracts by county, and by town.
The data indicate five major needs for the region, and for each county. These needs are 1) medical/mental health care providers and facilities, and more access to those that exist in the region; 2) safe, affordable, adequate housing; 3) available, accessible, reliable and affordable transportation (both public and private); 4) additional resources/programs that provide utility assistance, especially emergency assistance; and, 5) available, nutritious, affordable food (food insecurity and food deserts). Needs stemming from childhood poverty and the availability and access to early childhood education also are noted as needs. County needs are prioritized somewhat differently (below).
|Utility Assistance||Healthcare / Mental Health||Healthcare / Mental Health|
|Healthcare / Mental Health||Affordable Housing||Utility Assistance|
|Transportation / Gas Money||Transportation / Gas Money||Affordable Housing|
|Childhood Poverty||Utility Assistance||Food|
The Assessment concludes with county strengths and weaknesses, trends, barriers to addressing needs, prioritized needs and suggested actions.