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Image by Peter Pryharski

More than 41,000 people in Jefferson County are living in poverty.

Poverty is structural and persistent.

Generational poverty

Generational poverty is defined as families who have lived in poverty for at least two generations, meaning children of parents in poverty are more likely to grow up to live in poverty themselves.

Generational Poverty
Image by Peter Pryharski

Effects of poverty


Children who experience chronic poverty are more likely to lag behind their more affluent peers in language development, delaying literacy and hindering academic success at all grade levels.


Poverty affects health by limiting access to proper nutrition and healthy foods; shelter; safe neighborhoods to learn, live, and work; clean air and water; utilities; and other elements that define an individual’s standard of living. 

Children raised in poverty are likely to remain in poverty when beginning their own families, creating generational cycles of poverty. 


Poverty is the largest risk factor for dropping out of school before completion.

Moving families beyond poverty to self-sufficiency

The Self-Sufficiency Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place needs to adequately meet their basic needs—without public or private assistance.

Image by Kait Herzog

Scale of the issue

A parent working full time and earning the Colorado minimum wage will fall short of meeting the Self-Sufficiency Standard for a family with a child in every county in Colorado.

The Self-Sufficiency Standard has increased an average of 78% for a three-person family across all Colorado Counties since 2001.

While median earnings have only increased 43%.

Today 1 out of 10 residents of Colorado lives in poverty.

Poverty is a National Issue.

The federal poverty level for a three-person family:


Federal Poverty Guidelines
Image by Ally Wagner
Self-Sufficiency Standard

Self-Sufficiency Standard for Jefferson County

For families with young children, the cost of housing and child care combined typically make up nearly half of the family’s budget.

Single parent family

$85, 811 annual income

is needed for a family consisting of one adult, one preschooler, and one school-age child to meet the Self-Sufficiency Standard.

Two parent family

$95, 345 annual income

is needed for a family consisting of for two adults, one preschooler, and one school-age to meet the Self-Sufficiency Standard.

Helping Hand

Our solutionJeffco Prosperity Partners

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