Ohio United Way study shows a growing number of working poor

2 in 5 Ohio families dea with financial hardship

MEDINA, Ohio - A new Ohio United Way study indicates 2 in every 5 families in the Buckeye State are now dealing with some form of financial hardship.

The United Way report introduced ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

The data outlined some 1.2 million Ohio individuals and families who are working, but are unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, food, child care, health care and transportation.

The United Way of Medina County is on the front line, trying to help a growing number of families make ends meet.

The agency said 19,000 families need help in Medina county alone, with a total 272,000 families in Cuyahoga, Geauga and Medina counties unable to afford Ohio's cost of living.

Deborah Perry of Medina and her two daughters told News 5 if it wasn't for the United Way of Medina County, and other key agencies, they could have been homeless, even though Perry is working two jobs.

"It was just overwhelming and exhausting," said Perry.

"Cause I had just left a bad relationship, and if they hadn't been there, I don't know where I would have been"

Cheryl Parzych, CEO, United Way of Medina County, told News 5 the report will hopefully educate and motivate change when it comes to dealing with the growing number of working poor.

"Families are having to make choices between do I pay the heating payment this week, or do I keep my car running," said Parzych.

"It is shocking, because you think, well the unemployment rate is low, why isn't everybody well off and happy?"

Beth Ewing is a United Way of Medina County life coach, who is now helping Perry and 35 other families get back on their feet.

Ewing told News 5 key local businesses are helping to employ family members who are trying to keep up with their bills, but more people need to get involved.

"So we couldn't do it without the businesses that are out there that are willing to give our members that chance," said Ewing.

Ewing said the United Way relies solely on donations, with the dollars staying locally to help those in need.

Meanwhile Perry had some advice for the growing number of Ohio families dealing with a financial struggle.

"My advice would be to not give up, to be willing to ask for help when you need it," said Perry.

 

 

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