Edge of Survival

1 in 4 of Lake County's working households is on the edge of survival.


What does it take for a family to survive?

In Lake County, affording the basic necessities—housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, miscellaneous necessities, and taxes costs a family of four $53,981 per year—or $18,138 per year for a single adult. DONATE NOW.


What happens when ends don’t meet?

To manage their day-to-day survival, families on the edge of survival often use short-term strategies that are detrimental in the long run. These families are our neighbors and they have to make difficult choices to reduce their expenses—such as missing a visit to the doctor, skipping meals, or not making critical bill payments—any of which may have long-term consequences such as poor performance in school, poor health, major debt, and larger bills in the future.



Why are working people financially unstable?

“Indiana’s cost of living is beyond what most jobs in the state can provide to working households.” – ALICE™ Study of Financial Hardship

Low wage jobs do not allow families to save for emergencies, save for the future, or build financial stability. The cost of living has increased and wages haven’t kept pace. The hardworking person you may know on the edge of survival could be working as a childcare worker, a retail salesperson, a housekeeping staff person, a cashier, a fast food worker, a stock clerk—or one of many other positions.


How does this crisis affect our community?

The whole community suffers when families have to live on the edge of survival. When children are not ready for school, they add a burden to the educational system. When households cannot afford preventative health care, they are more likely to place future burdens on the health care system, increasing insurance premiums for all. When local workers cannot afford an emergency, let alone invest in their neighborhood, communities may experience instability, higher taxes, or a decline in economic growth.


You can Help Bridge the Gap

Let’s help working families that are on the edge of survival reach a place of stability, independence, and success. Lake Area United Way will be pulling out all the stops to help families living on the edge of survival—through targeted programs that help families with education, health, securing the necessities, and achieving financial stability. DONATE NOW.

Download a printable version of our fact sheet: Lake County's Working Families on the Edge of Survival.

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