It’s almost impossible to eke out a decent living when you’re paid $7.25 an hour. Bills. Food. Rent. Costs add up immediately. This series of pieces from NPR does a great job showing just how hard it is get by for the 64 million Americans making less than $15 an hour.
“It’s not living, it’s not. It’s a paycheck, but it doesn’t cover the cost of housing.” That’s airport worker Helen Cheeks. “You know, I just want an affordable place. I’ve been homeless a number of times. I’ve slept in cars, I’ve been in abandoned houses, just this winter, during the snowstorm. That’s not living, and I also think that the low-wage jobs are just a way to set up people that’s already in poverty. It’s just setting them up for failure anyway.”
Check out the entire series to hear from other folks working hard but barely scraping by. Home care workers and child care workers do some of our country’s most important work and are forced into poverty to care for our country’s children and older people. Factory workers, who push forward American industry, think of themselves as the working poor.
We need $15 an hour and union rights now for ALL Americans.
Helen Cheeks added “Raising the minimum wage up to $15 an hour would give me a better chance.”