In the words of Sophia Petrillo, picture it, 2018...
You and your spouse are supporting 2 children, making on average $2,800 a month. You were able to find decent housing for $1,200 a month. By the time you pay for daycare, food, utilities, debt, health care and other life necessities you have maybe $100 in discretionary funds. You save $50 towards your small emergency fund and put the other $50 towards a fun activity for your family.
A couple months later, your car breaks down. You have to get the car towed and fixed. You use all your emergency fund and some credit to pay for the car. And now that $50 you were able to save you have to take at least $25 to pay off the credit card.
Flu season comes and one of your children gets sick. You can't take the child to daycare, so you have to stay home and miss a couple days of work to care for the child. 3 days later, your child is finally feeling better, but now the other child gets sick and you have to stay home and miss a couple days of work again. 2 days later, that child is feeling better, but now you have the flu and have to stay home from work. You've missed over 40 hours of work and don't have any paid leave and you can't work overtime to make up the time.
Rent is due in a couple days, you and your spouse only have part of the rent. You have no savings because of the car repair. You speak with your landlord and they give you a small extension, but even with the extension, the shortfall in your income will affect next month's rent and the month after that.
Your landlord has lost patience for your inability to stay and says you have to be out in 2 weeks. You have no friends or family you can stay with, you don't have money saved for 1st, last, & security. What do you do?
This is the reality for so many families living paycheck to paycheck. This is what homelessness looks like in Sarasota County.
How can you help? Volunteering and donating to Family Promise of South Sarasota County is a great way to help us help families in need. Additionally, we need more affordable housing and more industry (for more jobs) in this area. Be a voice for the working poor. Join the movement! Call your local representatives and ask what they are doing to get more affordable housing in this area. You can make a difference!