Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Play

Connecting health outcomes to climate solutions and lower utility bills, Engagement Center finding success near Boston's troubled 'Mass and Cass' and more protections coming for PA Children's Service providers.

Play

Georgia breaks a state record for early voting, Democrats are one step closer to codifying same-sex marriage, and Arizona county officials refuse to certify the results of the midterm elections.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Report: Almost One-Third of OR Families Face Financial Insecurity

Play

Tuesday, January 31, 2012   

PORTLAND, Ore. - A new national survey released today ranks states on how well residents do to achieve financial security, and recommends state policies that could make it easier for people to save, build assets and pull themselves out of poverty.

The Assets and Opportunities Scorecard indicates poverty may be one pressing problem for Oregon - but the risk of poverty is another, with 28 percent of the state's households unprepared for any type of financial hit, from job loss to a major medical bill or car repair.

The nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) says Oregonians make less money than the average American worker – with average annual pay of $40,590 versus $46,751 – and housing costs grab a much higher percentage of their income. Janet Byrd, executive director of Neighborhood Partnerships, says that combination makes it tough for people in Oregon to save.

"We need more diversity of job opportunities; we need to really nurture small business development; to create a sector of new jobs that will pay people those family wages or living wages."

The report says half of Oregonians (50.7%) have sub-prime credit, and more than one in three (37.6%) could not pay their living expenses for three months if they lost a job - and that includes people at all income levels. To Patti Whitney-Wise, who heads the Oregon Hunger Task Force, the findings aren't surprising. She says hunger figures spiked during the latest recession.

"And we surmise that most of that has to do with the fact that there aren't those rainy-day funds available to many families. They were making just enough to get by, spending from paycheck to paycheck - not enough to save for when times got hard."

One step the Legislature could take is to put some money back into the hands of the lowest-wage workers, by expanding the state's Earned Income Tax Credit, says Whitney-Wise.

"We've been working for several years now to try to get it raised up to 18 percent, which would mean most low-wage families would not begin paying taxes 'til they hit the poverty level. And most states do not tax families in poverty - we're one of the few that does."

CFED also suggests the state do a better job of helping homeowners facing foreclosure, and increasing financial education in schools.

Overall, Oregon ranks 27th out of the 50 states. The report is online at scorecard.cfed.org.



get more stories like this via email

The city-run Engagement Center is a low-barrier day facility, which serves a few hundred people each day from the nearby "Mass and Cass" area, offering everything from bathroom facilities and a clean bed to referrals to drug-treatment facilities, dental care and even writing groups. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Boston's 'Mass and Cass' area, with its large homeless population and open-air drug market, remains a trouble spot for city officials, but staff at …


Social Issues

Maryland's Juvenile Restoration Act has been in effect for more than a year now and its impact has people talking about additional reforms. The act …

Social Issues

Local candidates that signed onto a no-corporate-money pledge made midterm election gains in Charleston. Katie Lauer, co-chair of West Virginia …


Research indicates that the number of women who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury secondary to domestic violence is 11 to 12 times greater than experienced by military personnel and athletes combined. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new statewide initiative aims to help connect domestic-violence survivors with medical providers, with a focus on treating traumatic brain injury…

Environment

A successful program that helps low-income households weatherize homes and lower energy bills is setting its sights on improving the health outcomes o…

According to First Things First, 90% of a child's brain develops before he or she starts kindergarten. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby's health …

Environment

An environmental advocacy group in Virginia has been working to bridge generational gaps. Third Act Virginia began as a group of elder climate …

Social Issues

In just two months, it should be easier for providers of children's services in Pennsylvania's child-welfare and foster-care system to get the …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021