Too often the cost of housing, health care, child care, gas and other basic expenses surpass a families’ income. These families are walking a financial tightrope — they are barely able to get by, with no ability to save for college, a home, or for retirement. For many one unanticipated expense – a car breaking down, an uninsured illness, or loss of income due to illness - can lead to a crisis. United Way invests resources to provide tools and strategies that help individuals and families increase and maximize their income in order to meet daily expenses, as well as to begin the longer-term process of saving and building assets. Our priorities are to:
- Promote financial stability and independence
- Provide new skill development for families, individuals and youth
Understanding the Scope of the Issue
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2010-2012 American Community Survey, 46% of tenants in our three-county region pay more than 35% of their gross income for rent. The percentage of a families income spent on housing, typically the biggest expense, is a good indicator of financial stability. Anything close to or over 40 percent carries a significant risk.
While our unemployement rates are slightly better than last year (6.1% as of December, 2014) the number of children who qualify for free and reduced lunch tells a stark story. 55.7% of school aged children in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties qualify for free and reduced lunch. According to Children First of Oregon, 23.56% of children in our three-county region live in families with incomes below the poverty line.
Learn about the investments we are making in financial stability through our 2015-2017 Community Impact Grants.