Almost 12 million people in the U.S. live in high-poverty neighborhoods, areas where more than 40 percent of all residents live below the federal poverty level. This is an increase of 5 million people since 2000 — the number jumped to these levels between 2008 and 2012 as a downward spiral in the economy led to massive job losses. These areas often have higher crime rates, fewer job opportunities and inadequate schools, problems that can trap families in a cycle of poverty that persists across generations. Over the years experts have advised poor families to move into mixed income areas and some have heeded this advice. At the same time, grassroots advocates say that these areas shouldn’t be abandoned and have been working to stimulate economic development in their distressed communities. This page will feature content that highlights these stories.