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 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 face daily struggles because I have been unable to find work. I don’t have food stamps currently, just a medical card. Going to food banks is not what I want to rely on. There are people who need it worse than me, but I still need to eat, too. I have worked before and still was unable to provide enough for me and my four children. I’m currently pregnant and have my utilities off because I have no income. I used all of my OWF (Ohio Works First cash assistance) up and still need help with things. I even filed for SSI and got denied. I hope I can get help soon. It’s sad, the ones who really need it don’t get it, and the ones who don’t need it get help.”
“Right now, our family is given $563 for cash assistance. There are two adults and four children in our home. Our rent alone is $500 a month and we are responsible for gas and electric as well. Because we do not even receive enough in cash right now to pay our current rent and utilities, we are unable to get a bigger home, either. We right now live in a two bedroom apartment.” –
“Jobs in southeast Ohio are very slim. Although the help I get is greatly appreciated, it is very hard to make ends meet. My son has a lot of doctors’ appointments, psych appointments, etc., It’s hard to get to all of them due to gas prices. The food stamps usually run out by the third week of the month. With milk at $4 a gallon, it is hard to stretch them. Everything has raised so tremendously, gas, food and taxables.”