What it Really Takes to Be Self-Sufficient

The current unemployment rate in Elkhart County is 2.5%. So why are people still struggling financially? “Unfortunately, just having a job isn’t always enough to meet one’s basic needs, and certainly not the needs of a family,” says Vonda Horst, Director of Financial Services at CCS. According to the Indiana Institute for Working Families, research shows that to be self-sufficient, a family of 1 adult, 1 preschooler and 1 school-aged child would require the adult to make $21.29 per hour! Therefore, an adult making minimum wage of $7.25, can’t possibly be self-sufficient working one job, even if it is full-time.  And while some people work two or three jobs to try to make ends meet, that makes for a stressful life and those with children or other responsibilities outside work may not be able to work second or third shifts when childcare is scarce. Vonda interacts daily with people in need. “Most people who come in to our office want to make it on their own, but find it difficult to do so. Many people we see are just hanging on financially, but then an unexpected car or home repair sends them scrambling to make ends meet,” explains Vonda. For 50 years Church Community Services has been serving the Elkhart County community through our emergency services of a food pantry and financial assistance program and we are grateful for the support individuals, businesses and churches who make it possible for us to help our neighbors in need.

Hayley Tessier