Report: 1 In 3 Illinoisans Living In, Near Poverty
"I never understood before how people say they struggled. I'd say 'go to work.' But what happens when you can't work?" Simmons asked.
Last week, Simmons was hired as a driver at another long-term care facility at $9.75 an hour. Now she's waiting to find out if she made too much money in her first week to keep her food stamps, even though she's not guaranteed full-time work.
If the aid is cut, she said she must decide whether to "stay at this job or leave it because I can't afford" to pay bills and buy food. "It's a never-ending cycle of trying to get ahead."
That's a story Mike Heath hears often as executive director of Good Samaritan Ministries.The number of families seeking help at the Carbondale charitable group's food pantry increased by almost 24 percent between fiscal year 2011 and 2012. At the same time, its soup kitchen served 22 percent more meals, and the group saw a 32 percent increase in the number of people seeking short-term help for such expenses as car payments and rent. "It's a bad situation," Heath said. "There's no two ways about it."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV