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.
· “I get enough money from OWF (Ohio Works First cash assistance) to pay my rent, which leaves all my other important bills out, or I have to choose what to pay to keep from being evicted or disconnected. My car insurance got cancelled and my license got pulled because of getting pulled over on my way to work off my hours for OWF. Being a single mom of a one-year-old and an eight-year-old, losing my job has been the biggest nightmare of my life. Not being able to get a job is the other, and trying to find a way to keep my bills paid and food on the table for my kids is the most important thing to me. I go hungry at times so they don’t have to.”
· “Currently, my hardships are that I have no job and am having a hard time finding work. As a result, I have no home, I just have to bounce around from place to place and stay with my friends. I also have no money to pay for groceries or food at all. I won’t need help for long, but at the moment I would really appreciate it.”
· “After losing my job with a national auto parts chain and exhausting my unemployment benefits, I have been unable to find a job. My wife had to retire early because of health issues from her job, where we got our insurance benefits. So at the age of 61, we have to depend on my father-in-law for food and shelter. We have no insurance to cover some pretty serious health issues. We both do without medications we need because we can’t afford to buy it. So we have no income, no insurance and maybe no food. We aren’t old enough to receive Social Security or Medicare, so what happens to us now?”