Just two years ago, Reading earned the dubious title of poorest city in the United States. Last year, it appeared that the city might be turning things around, but new poverty statistics for this year show that Reading is once again heading in the wrong direction.
"Aww man, it is very, very bad. Very bad," said Reading resident Angel Velez. "I like my job, but I feel bad for other people that cannot afford to pay the rent. They are homeless, and you know, the drugs, the crime."
Reading topped the list of Poorest Cities in America in 2011, but in 2012, it gained some ground, coming in at number 6.
"For a while, the crime had gone down when there were some jobs available," said Reading resident Nate Marshall.
The poverty rate went from 40.1 percent to 40.5 percent, pushing Reading into the number two spot for the poorest city in America.
"Money is the key. It is the root. If you do not have money, you are in trouble and we do not have money up here anymore. We need jobs. We need people to start bringing work back into the city instead of taking it out of the city," said Marshall.
While some argue that more jobs are needed, others in Reading said people need to have a drive to work hard.
"I wish there were things that we could do to help people that do not have enough money to put food on the table or to have a roof over their head, but what can we do for people that do not want to help themselves," said Reading worker Marybel Rivera.
Reading's mayor said the city has good organizations to help provide people with food and shelter. He said the city will continue to work to bring more businesses and jobs into the area, but he said fighting poverty will continue to be struggle in Reading.
"You get up every day and you have nothing to do, so you are almost forced to do what you have to do to survive," said Marshall.