When Low Wages Just Aren’t Enough
By Kilra Hylton
For a while we’ve all seen fast food workers, airport workers, Wal-Mart employees and even college professors stand up to tell the rest of the world that working hard just isn’t enough to even get by – much less get ahead.
I don’t work at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart or the airport. I make sure that seniors and people with disabilities can stay at home with their families and communities. That’s where they want to be and where their families want them to be. I love what I do. I’m happy I can make other people’s lives better. But a lot of the time my family and I are paying the price.
I always feel caught between a rock and a hard place. With two consumers – people I care for in their homes – I bring home about $842 a month. With rent at $422 a month, plus the cost of gas and utilities, I only manage to feed my kids through the grace of God. I work hard, but my paycheck isn’t enough to cover my bills, take care of my family or pay for our healthcare. If I didn’t work at all, I would qualify for help with all of those things. What would you do?