United Way calling for help in assisting Elkhart County's working poor, about 24 percent of households

http://www.elkharttruth.com/hometown/elkhart/2014/09/05/United-Way-call-...


United Way calling for help in assisting Elkhart County's working poor, about 24 percent of households

Such families ‘consistently have a job’ but can’t meet monthly expenses, says United Way’s Darren Bickel.


United Way of Elkhart County President Bill Rieth addresses a group Thursday to launch a push to assist the working poor here. (Tim Vandenack/The Elkhart Truth)

Posted 1 hour ago

 

ELKHART — Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you have economic security.

For many, it’s still a struggle: Bills pile up and — to shave costs — preventive car maintenance falls by the wayside, doctor’s appointments are put off.

Working but poor
Earning more than the poverty level is no indicator of economic stability.
Here are highlights of the United Way of Elkhart County study into the working poor, jumping off point for a new effort to help them:

  • The federal poverty level for a single adult is someone who earns less than $973 per month. The United Way study found the actual amount needed for a single adult to cover his or her minimum costs is $1,477 a month, or a wage of about $9 an hour.
  • The federal poverty level for a single adult with one child is $1,310 in household earnings a month. The United Way found the actual amount needed to survive is $2,463 a month, equivalent to a job that pays around $15 an hour.
  • The federal poverty level for a family of four is $1,988 a month. The United Way found the actual earnings needed to survive would total $3,805 a month, equivalent to a $23-an-hour job.

Those in poverty, plus the working poor — families with wage earners but not enough to make ends meet — account for 38 percent of Elkhart County’s households. In the city of Elkhart, they account for 46 percent of households while the figure is 43 percent in Goshen.

Those stuck in such circumstances, struggling but still earning more than the federal poverty level, “say that getting ahead is not getting behind,” said Darren Bickel, vice president at theUnited Way of Elkhart County.

A new study indicates 24 percent of Elkhart County households — 17,141 of them — are in such circumstances, working but poor. To pare the numbers back, United Way reps publicly unveiled a long-term campaign to search for solutions to address the issue. United Way dubs working households not earning enough to get by Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed — or ALICE — and the 17,141 homes here represent an estimated 45,000 people.

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http://www.elkharttruth.com/hometown/elkhart/2014/09/05/United-Way-call-...

 

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