The income gap in South Dakota has grown faster than in almost any other state.
The study is almost an illustration of the old proverb 'rich get richer, poor get poorer.'
As we head into the holiday season, many of us are thinking about budgeting and stretching our dollars.
We spoke with one woman who tells us it almost becomes a game.
Jessica Cain said "most people always want to get ahead and right now, I'm at the point where I just want to hit zero. If I could start at a zero level, we'd be fine but we're just trying to get out of the hole and reach zero."
Cain recently moved to Sioux Falls from Minnesota. She saw her income drop when she crossed state lines.
"I work at an actual, decent establishment here now, where I do customer service and sales all day long and it's a two-and-a-half dollar an-hour pay cut," Cain said.
Cain has a strategy to make ends meet.
"See what bill I can stretch to the next one or call the electric company and say I can do $50 this month or this week and wait until you get the disconnect notice for one thing. Ok, I can pay this right now, so it doesn't get disconnected. Then put off another one," Cain said.
Cain says she lost her daycare assistance since she got married recently.
"I can show them we make this much money, but these are the house payment, the vehicle insurance and all that, and it doesn't matter. If you make even a dollar over a certain amount, you don't get any help, whatsoever," Cain said.
Joy Smolnisky, director of South Dakota Budget and Policy with the non-profit group, South Dakota Voices for Children, says her organization asks questions to change policies and help families.
"Are there people in South Dakota who's incomes don't cover the basic necessities where they live. that question is important because that helps us understand which households are really struggling to make ends meet," Smolnisky said.
Smolnisky says her organization researches information so we as a state can ask questions to help people move forward.
The study shows only Mississippi with a larger poverty gap than South Dakota.
Thursday, December 12 2013 11:30 PM EST2013-12-13 04:30:05 GMT
Buying presents isn't always an option; for some families, essentials are hard enough to cover. Sioux Falls Area Law Enforcement is looking to help through a program in its eighth year. While it is partiallyMore >>
Shopping with Kids and Cops celebrated its eighth year. Sioux Falls Area Law Enforcement went shopping at Target with children chosen by The BanquetMore >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 11:29 PM EST2013-12-13 04:29:11 GMT
Some Sioux Falls middle school students are working on a project that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy... inside and out. They're making blankets...they will be distributed to students all acrossMore >>
Some Sioux Falls middle school students are working on a project that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy... inside and out.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 10:06 PM EST2013-12-13 03:06:37 GMT
Thursday, Representative Kristi Noem said Congress is expected to vote on an extension to the current farm bill this week. "It's very controversial. Not everybody believes that extending it will actuallyMore >>
Thursday, Representative Kristi Noem said Congress is expected to vote on an extension to the current farm bill this week. "It's very controversial. Not everybody believes that extending it will actually be helpful." said Dean of College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at South Dakota State University, Barry Dunn says extending the bill will not do any good. More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 8:59 PM EST2013-12-13 01:59:17 GMT
Each step is choreographed. Each line delivered with the utmost confidence. The Dakota Academy of Performing Arts is at it again. This time telling the story of James and the Giant Peach."I was reallyMore >>
Acting out a novel with lots of literary elements is no easy feat. In fact, it's a rather giant venture. More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 7:20 PM EST2013-12-13 00:20:11 GMT
It is a simple act of kindness gone viral. What started as an idea between two Sioux Falls middle school students is now warming hearts across the Sioux Empire. They are two best friends, Damian MarlowMore >>
A secret project by two Axtell Park Middle School 8th grade students warms the hearts of their classmates.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 7:05 PM EST2013-12-13 00:05:50 GMT
Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Sioux Falls Sports LLC, the City of Sioux Falls, and SMG jointly announced today that the Sioux Falls Stampede have signed a lease agreement that will make the Denny SanfordMore >>
A drop of the puck, big-time announcement for the Denny Sanford Premier Center.
Thursday afternoon, the future events center announced its first tenant.