Courtney Collins | KERA News

Courtney Collins

Reporter

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.

At KERA, Courtney is lead reporter for the series “One Crisis Away,” about life on the financial edge. Courtney has won awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, Texas Medical Association, Houston Press Club and the inaugural consumer financial reporting award presented by the Public Radio News Directors Inc. and the National Endowment for Financial Education. “One Crisis Away” was also recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association and National Endowment for Financial Education for excellence in personal finance reporting. Courtney was also part of the team that won a national Edward R. Murrow award in 2017 for Excellence in Video.

When she’s not at work, Courtney loves to read and play outdoors with her husband and wild toddler.

Ways to Connect

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Close to 1,500 volunteers scattered across North Texas Wednesday to tackle service projects in honor of 9/11.

A team dispatched to Rockwall was determined to clean, organize — and beautify.

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Being short on food or rent money are symptoms of poverty. Going without close friendships or being estranged from family are symptoms of what’s known as social poverty.

Professor Sarah Halpern-Meekin explains the dangers of being socially poor.

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Financial analysts have spent the last several weeks talking about whether a recession is looming.

On a recent episode of Think, host Krys Boyd talked with Ryan Nunn, an economic studies fellow at the Brookings Institution, about why sudden changes in the employment rate might mean a recession is near — or here.

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If someone winds up in jail because an unpaid traffic ticket leads to a suspended license and then an arrest warrant, does that mean being poor is, in one sense, a crime? Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman explores the topic in his new book, and on a recent episode of Think.

Heritage Auctions via Associated Press

Heritage Auctions has a collectible sports jersey up for auction through Saturday. As of Friday afternoon the bid was up to $62,500.

Sports junkies and certain political gurus might be equally interested in this one.

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Texas groups are reacting to the Trump administration's plan to significantly expand a rule that penalizes immigrants seeking permanent residency for using public benefits.

As it stands now, the "public charge" rule applies to people who primarily rely on the government for support through cash assistance, for example. 

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A stifling heatwave means the Salvation Army has thrown open the doors of cooling stations across North Texas.

They're stocked with cold, bottled water, and there's plenty of room for people to bask in the air conditioning as long as they'd like.

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Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and other big cities have struggled for decades to help solve the issues of urban violence and poverty.

On a recent episode of Think, Harvard Research fellow Thomas Abt talked with host Krys Boyd about why violence often furthers financial hardship.

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Almost 40% of homes in Texas are rented, and according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, finding an affordable one is a struggle. Research shows there's a shortage in Texas of close to 600,000 homes for the lowest income renters.

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

Longer trains will soon be cruising down two DART lines. It was announced that the Federal Transit Administration will put $61 million into expanding capacity on the Red and Blue lines.

They'll be able to hold a third more riders.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

General Motors annouced plans to invest another $20 million into its Arlington assembly plant. The money will upgrade equipment ahead of GM's new SUV launch. 

Associated Press

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao visited Dallas Monday to announce half a billion dollars in grant money that will be funneled to airports across the country, including eight in Texas.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Denton Bible Church has some unusual outreach programs. The "Sweat Team" is a group of folks who help clean up storm debris. And then there's the "Cattle Ministry," a church-run herd that provides beef to low income families in Denton. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

For Louanna Fowler, becoming homeless didn't happen little by little — it happened all at once. One day she was living in a foster home, the next, she had aged out and was on the street.

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Americans with a lot of money are often praised as "hard workers,” but do elbow grease and ambition always lead to wealth?

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State legislation with bipartisan support is taking aim at "surprise medical bills" and may get a final vote Monday, May 20, in Austin. It's designed to protect the consumer by requiring medical providers and insurance companies to work things out themselves.

Taylor Moran

Strong tornadoes and major floods often produce nonstop news coverage and an outpouring of charitable giving. It's the small storms, though, that tend to come and go without much notice.

That's when Denton Bible Church steps in.

Eugene Keahey died by suicide in connection with a suspicious house fire that killed his wife and two daughters. Their deaths have been ruled homicides.
Courtney Collins / KERA news

The people who live in the unincorporated Dallas County community of Sandbranch don't have running water. Pastor Eugene Keahey was working to change that, until a suspicious house fire in February. 

Last week, Keahey's death was ruled a "suicide by gunshot" — his wife and two daughters were declared victims of homicide. Now, a fellow pastor is struggling to reconcile Keahey's legacy.

Julio Cortez / Associated Press

Opportunity zones are an effort to bring investors to struggling neighborhoods in exchange for tax benefits. There are thousands across the country, including 18 in Dallas County, seven in Tarrant and three in Denton County.

Pastor Eugene Keahey in 2015, standing by the water tank at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
Courtney Collins / KERA News

Sandbranch, an unincorporated community in southeast Dallas County, doesn't have running water. And the man who fought so hard to change that, Pastor Eugene Keahey, was killed in a house fire.

New research estimates 15,000 kids in Tarrant County are homeless, including those living with families in motels or staying on someone's couch.
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A new report in Tarrant County shows traditional homeless counts track people in shelters or sleeping on the street, but they don't always account for families living in motels or camping on someone's couch.

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Many American families are staring down retirement with hardly any money set aside.

In fact, sociology professor and author Katherine S. Newman says about half of Americans have no savings at all. Many others haven't saved enough.

Dixie Malloy and her dog "Puppy" enjoy the small dog park at White Rock Lake in Dallas.
Courtney Collins / KERA news

If you've got a four-legged friend, chances are you've scoped out dog-friendly greenspace in your neighborhood. The Trust for Public Land just ranked the 100 largest U.S. cities, according to dog parks. At No. 40, Irving was the only North Texas town to crack the top 50.

If you want to check out cherry blossoms at the Dallas Arboretum, you need to visit before the end of the month.
Courtney Collins / KERA News

Spring has arrived, and the cherry trees at the Dallas Arboretum are blooming right on schedule.

This year's March weather, though, caused a little anxiety in the world of flora.

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Diapers Etc. hands out around 10,000 to 12,000 diapers per month to families in need, for free. For those families on the financial edge, the necessary baby-care staple would be a crippling cost otherwise.

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Baby's first year is full of milestones, like first smile, first steps and first round of shots.

Everything about the first 12 months is new — including a major new line item in the family budget.

Many of the people who care for disabled Texans don’t earn a living wage. Charlotte Stewart is executive director of REACH, a nonprofit that advocates for people with disabilities. She has a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis, and she's helping lead the fight to boost pay for aides funded by Medicaid. They’re known as community attendants.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

A choir for homeless men and women in Dallas has inspired street choirs across the country to form and collaborate. Its founder has formed a multi-city alliance and dreams of eventually creating a national street choir.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Elementary schoolers in Arlington donned hairnets and boxed up thousands of meals for hungry children Friday. The event benefits a nonprofit called Feed My Starving Children, which sends food to 100 countries.

This copy of the Federalist Papers is expected to fetch six figures at auction.
Courtney Collins / KERA

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions has a rare book about to cross the block, a piece expected to fetch six figures at auction.

This collection of essays — first published in 1787 — has never been more popular.

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