Nearly half of all GRACE clients are the “working poor”, whose paycheck-to-paycheck cycle potentially sends families with unexpected bills into a downward spiral without intervention. This is especially true for workers who do not have paid time off and have to take a pay cut when their child gets the flu, for instance.
The “working poor” are defined as employees whose total income falls below the poverty level (currently $25,100 for a family of four) and comprise 6.3% of all individuals in the labor force.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that nearly twice the percentage of those below the poverty line live in southern states. Most individuals struggling paycheck to paycheck work in service industries, such as custodial manual labor or roles in the food industry.
What’s most alarming is that in Tarrant County, the population at greatest risk to poverty, malnutrition and poor development are infants and toddlers under the age of three.
The majority of GRACE client households are headed by women, meaning the likelihood of single mothers struggling to provide for the young children is a sinister reality for our community.
Recognizing that change is most critical in the home, GRACE provides emergency relief, utility assistance, medical attention, financial and career coaching, life skills classes and referrals, comprehensive accountability measures and more services to share God’s love those who are struggling the most.
Children’s programs, including ongoing support through Transitional Housing, Christmas Cottage, and Feed Our Kids are just some of the ways GRACE facilitates relief during times of uncertainty for many local families.
Supporting daily operations at GRACE allows case managers to relieve the immediate burdens while addressing solutions that strengthen families long-term.
If you would like to contribute to the mission of GRACE or read more about GRACE programs, visit GRACEGrapevine.org.