Over the last year, Athens County Job and Family Services has invited our clients to tell us about some of the challenges and struggles they are facing.
As Ohio’s leaders deliberate over the state’s next two-year budget, we will be posting a few of these comments each week so that you can hear from some of our neighbors about the obstacles they face every day. We hope our leaders will look at how the budget impacts families who are just trying to survive, instead of only looking at the budget as a series of numbers and dollar signs.
We encourage you to take a few moments to read over the comments. Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration.
“We have trouble with gas, food, utilities and household items. Our vehicle needs front end work done. I support seven people on $8 an hour. I only get 15 to 36 hours a week. My kids deserve to have stuff, but I can’t provide them with it because money is so tight. We are thankful for what help we do get, it’s just never enough. It’s especially tough at the end of the month when you are out of milk or cereal or bread and have no money to buy any.”
“I am a single mother of a three year old. I work 8-5, Monday – Friday. I am living in a trailer that I pay $600 a month for, plus all utilities. After everything is paid and I buy gas and groceries, I have nothing left. Usually I am in the negative and borrow money to keep afloat. I feel that the social service department was made for people like me; people who get up every morning and try to do better, people who are here NOT to take advantage of the system, but people who are just looking for a little assistance. Hopefully, one day in the near future, I will not need to rely on supplements and it will be available for someone else in need.”
“I am a single mother with bipolar disorder caring for a two-year-old son on an income of $355 from OWF (Ohio Works First cash assistance) and $304 in food assistance. I struggle day by day to keep up with doctor’s appointments and to provide my son and me with food. Raising my benefits would greatly benefit our well-being at this time.”