Low-income, monolingual communities are suffering a disproportionate share of the consequences of today’s devastated national economy. The Hmong community in particular continues to struggle with crushing levels of poverty, which has been exacerbated by foreclosures and job losses precipitated by the current economic crisis. The Hmong community has the lowest per capita income of any racial group nationwide, and the highest rate of poverty among all AAPI ethnic groups. Over one in four Hmong Americans lives below the federal poverty line (a rate that exceeds that of Latinos and African Americans), and nearly one-third of Hmong American children live in poverty.
In order for the Hmong community to thrive and achieve upward mobility, community members need to have access to banking and capital, strong financial literacy skills, job training, and educational support. In adivition, the organizations serving the community need to have the capacity to provide the services and programs that are most needed.