When You Work You Shouldn't Be Poor

Read More about Delcy

Help Struggling Working Families

Help hardworking families gain access to programs and services that will help them get ahead with a hand up, not a hand out.



Delcy has a Bachelor’s Degree, has been gainfully employed for most of her life, yet she’s still struggling to make ends meet. It wasn’t always this way though, Delcy enjoyed a 10-year long career working for the railroad, making a decent living that allowed her to provide for herself and her son.

Unfortunately, when Delcy’s mother got sick she had to become her primary caregiver, shuttling her to doctors and dialysis appointments, which made it difficult to work regular hours. Delcy lost her job with the railroad and since then has only been able to find part-time and temporary work. She’s worked as a casino dealer and substitute teacher and most recently with a temp agency, but the project ended after just six weeks. She regularly spends 25 hours a week applying for jobs and going on interviews, but most of those jobs only pay $10-$15 an hour.

"What frustrates me the most is that I have to take jobs that don't pay my bills," she said. "I live in fear on a daily basis. If I'm behind on my rent, I don't know when that landlord is going to send that eviction notice,” says Delcy.

When she was unemployed, Delcy was able to apply for and receive assistance with food and health insurance, but as soon as she found employment her benefits would be cut or taken away completely. She was told she makes too much to qualify for assistance, even though she’s not earning enough to afford the basics and make ends meet.

"When you say, 'I have a job,' people automatically think you're OK, and that's not the case," Delcy says. When you work you shouldn't be poor. You spend a third of your day at that job, so you should be able to provide basic needs for your family."

Your Role

Lake Area United Way is dedicated to helping people like Delcy find stable employment earning a living wage. By making a donation today, you can help people like Delcy access job training programs and resume help as well as provide them the opportunity to work with a Career Navigator and receive financial fitness education that will guide them on the path to financial stability.

At Lake Area United Way we believe that when families thrive, communities thrive. Donate today to help your community thrive.



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