Tuesday, July 22, 2008

“Focus on the Basics” News Conference

Please join the directors of Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Perry, Ross, Scioto and Vinton County Job & Family Services, Children Services and the 317 Board of Athens, Hocking & Vinton Counties, for a news conference: 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, July 23, 2008, in the conference room of the Ross County Jobs One-Stop, 150 E. Second St., Chillicothe, Ohio for our “Focus on the Basics” news conference.

The gaping holes in the government safety net for Ohio families has many without sufficient income to meet their basic human needs of food, clothing, and shelter. Our government’s failure to prioritize the needs of the poorest of the poor is causing increased hardships among those least suited to survive them. Simultaneously, other challenges facing many of these same families are growing worse as they must focus all of their energy on simply surviving. We must “focus on the basics” and place a greater priority on local, state and federal resources for the poorest of the poor.

Ohio Works First (OWF) Client Surveys
These quotes represent a sample of the responses by OWF clients to the following question:

"What financial or medical hardships are you facing?"

“Every month I live with the fear of being evicted. I’m a single mom with two children…and if that were to happen, I have nowhere to go. I currently get OWF $410, but my rent is $425 not including utilities, or diapers, wipes, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent or gas for my van. Because of all the rising costs, I’m digging a financial hole every month I can’t get out of. This causes a lot of depression, despair and worry. I’m so busy with the worry of money, I can’t even enjoy my children as much as I would like to. Please, please help us, this can’t go on. Somebody be our voice. Sincerely…”

“I feel kind of a let-down and basically worthless to my son. If I had a car and extra money to feed him our hopes would begin to open up doors.”

“…I am a single father taking care of my 4-year old daughter…I have realized that due to the high bottle gas prices (which is a necessity to have in my home for cooking, heating, and having hot water for showers) and now the rising prices for automotive gasoline, complications have developed in my ability to provide my daughter with new clothing and new shoes when she needs them. This situation is also hurting my daughter due to our home and our vehicle (our only form of transportation), needing desperate repairs done to them. I could sit here and write a novel to you regarding all of the financial, physical, and mental hardships that I face on a day to day basis.”

“…There are days we don’t get to eat a solid meal, just soup and bread if we are lucky…”

“I am a single parent trying to raise 2 children on $410 a month because my doc says I’m unable to work…by the time you pay your utilities you have nothing left so you are struggling every month just to survive…”