Denise

In her words…

My name is Denise, and this is my story.  Today while doing volunteer work in the Co-op office I over heard Teresa, Val and Zoe talking about the amount of minimum wage.  They were talking about how the entry level positions don’t pay enough money for families to survive off of.  They still end up in the category of low-income families.  Even training positions people have not een able to survive.  On average a single woman with no children that made fourteen dollars an hour would be able to survive, but with children she can not without government assistance.  So a woman with more than one children would be poverty stricken working a forty hour a week job at minumum wage even if she had training.  I know first hand what this feels like.  I started my last job five years ago at 6.60 an hour working forty hours a week.  I worked during the last minimum wage change.  The increase was good but not good enough to survive.  My employer did not like the increase they condisered the increase as a raise.  This honestly was not fair at all.  After the minimum wage changed to seven forty, I only recieved a total raise of thirty five cents in two and a half years.  After taxes each week I would only bring home two hundred and fifty dollars.  I had to pay rent and utilities.  At times I would still fall behind.  DHS told me that we made to much money for assistance.  We did qualify for food stamps.  My spouse had to work opposite of me due to child care regulations throiugh DHS.  That meant that he would have to work part time.  I would struggle to get to work daily.  The bus didn’t run first thing in the morning so I would have to take a cab.  A cab daily was seven dollars and fifty cents.  I would take a bus home.  On weekends it cost more because I would have to take a cab to and from work.  My weekly amount to get to and from work would be anywhere from forty five to fifty dollars a week.  I needed government assistance.  Teresa and Val have been seeking help from local businesses that have been assisting them in setting men and women up with job to increase the pay so that families can survive.  They have said that they cannot do this.  Thankfully President Obama has stated in this address that for the people of America to get off assistance they would need more pay.  He has suggested that they change to minimum wage to nine dollars an hour to start, and change yearly, and also to make the connection to the cost of living.

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