News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Inside Dallas' Jubilee Park Neighborhood, Bank Accounts Are Hard To Find

Jubilee Park is a Dallas neighborhood wedged between Interstate 30 and Fair Park.

In KERA’s series One Crisis Away: Inside a Neighborhood, we look at the high price of being poor in a place called Jubilee Park. The Dallas neighborhood is sandwiched between Interstate 30 and Fair Park. 

There’s a lot of good happening there including a sparkling community center and a dramatic drop in the crime rate. But life in Jubilee Park isn’t easy. The unemployment rate is twice the state average and in some parts, the median income is $16,000.

In this neighborhood, a lot of residents don’t trust banks, including Chris Crowley.

“You read about everyday some bank is losing information. And I got bills to pay and I ain’t got time to tell the light company, ‘hey, I can’t pay ya’ll right now because there was a glitch and my money’s lost.’ You know?,” wonders Crowley.

About 13 percent of Texans are unbanked according to the Corporation for Enterprise Development. That means no checking account, no savings account, nothing.

“In Dallas we’ve got some big issues too. I think in the city of Dallas it’s almost 15.6 percent of people are unbanked and then another 26 percent, underbanked,” says Susan Hoff with the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.

Not everyone resident falls into that category. Ella Garrett has lived on Congo Street in the Jubilee Park since the 1970s. Hear her talk about how she’s saved for retirement from her job in downtown Dallas in the video below.

See striking photos of Jubilee Park and the people who live there and learn more about the costs that come with not having a bank account here.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.