Mingo County, West Virginia
For residents of Mingo County, a mountainous, coal-rich rural area bordering eastern Kentucky, access to the outside world is limited. Many people don’t have reliable clean water or telephone service, and transportation to jobs is difficult for the large number of households that can’t afford to repair a car when it breaks down. Due to federal welfare constraints and unemployment from coal mine closures, poverty here is worsening.
According to 2017 Census Department data:
- 42% of children live below the poverty level, a nearly 20% increase since 2010.
- Just under a quarter of residents over 18 have an annual income of less than $15,000.
- 35.6% of adults over 25 did not graduate from high school.
Mingo County has the dubious distinction of ranking last of 55 West Virginia counties for adverse health behaviors, including smoking, obesity, binge drinking, teenage births and motor vehicle crash deaths. Opioid addiction is rampant — in 2017 West Virginia had the highest rate of death due to drug overdoses of all 50 states.
Christian Help Inc. in the tiny town of Kermit (population 406), is our on-site coordinating agency. It’s a non-denominational charity that runs a food pantry, provides furniture, clothing assistance and transportation services, among other aid. Warfield Shoprite in Warfield Kentucky provides groceries to Family-to-Family’s sponsored families, which are distributed by one of our community outreach partners, Marian Krom, at Christian Help Inc.
Christian Help, Inc.
100 Lincoln St./PO Box 1257
Kermit, West Virginia 25674
Read more about Mingo County:
- Scrapping for a Living in Old Coal Country
- Mingo County – One of the Unhealthiest Counties in West Virginia, and the Nation
- Stirring the Waters – In Southern WV, Days Without Water are a Way of Life
Data Sources: Population – U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder, 2010 ; U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates; Poverty/Income – U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2007 American Community Survey; Health – “County Health Rankings: Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health,” 2010, by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute