This report showcases the “high cost of being poor” reality of the 2003 KIDS COUNT Data Book essay by presenting the everyday budget struggles of low-income working families of Hartford, Connecticut. Using local data, the report makes a case for public benefits and supports to help mitigate the impact of higher health care, transportation and child care costs on inner city working families.
For one single-parent family, the Care 4 Kids child care subsidy means the difference between having an annual surplus of $3,500 with the subsidy versus an annual debt over $4,000 without it.
One single mother finds that going to work puts her $986 in debt each month, while not working costs her $876 in monthly debt.
As income increases, public benefits decrease, leaving poor working families still struggling to make ends meet.
Statements & Quotations
In some cases, the loss of public benefits as a result of increased income creates a fiscal disincentive to finding and keeping a job.
Living without savings, or without the credit to take out a low-interest loan through traditional vendors, causes families to become vulnerable to predatory financial services in times of financial need.
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