This Is What Barely Making Ends Meet In America Sounds Like
Periodically we will find articles that we think our community would gain a lot from. This article first appeared on the Huffington Post, and focuses on people surviving on minimum wage. Please read and respond to the the article below. This article was written by, Ariel Edwards-Levy.
Starting last year, The Huffington Post asked people surviving on wages near the federal minimum, as well as those struggling to even find a job, to call us and share their stories. The responses voice the anxiety and exhaustion of living in the space between just getting by and watching your life collapse — a gap so narrow that bringing toilet paper home from work can help make ends meet, while any unexpected expense can send you over the edge.
“I’m scared to death of my car,” one woman told HuffPost, noting she couldn’t afford any mechanical work if something went wrong. Another described “hanging on by the hair on my head.” One woman reported her electricity was about to be turned off; a single father of a 6-year-old said he was just a day away from losing his apartment.
According to U.S. Census data, more than 7 percent of workers live below the federal poverty line, with many more above the cutoff but still struggling. The May unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.
Readers who count themselves among those statistics shared their embarrassment at having to depend on family as adults, their dreams of being able to afford better food and medical attention, and their fear of facing an uncertain retirement.
Listen to their stories HERE.