When you light a lamp for someone, it will also brighten your path.
Need in Yamhill County: Did You Know? How are We Helping?
♦ Unemployment in Yamhill County (pop. 109,862 in 2020) is estimated at 5% in May 2021. This rate is fluctuating quite a bit due to layoffs and business closures during COVID-19. If we include people working part-time or in temporary positions when they want to work full-time, the current unemployment rate is likely several percentage points higher. And many workers receive low wages with few or no benefits–-please see the "Poverty" section below. Give a Little is placing increasing emphasis on funding modest expenses—such as work licenses and equipment, gas cards, and training courses--that will help job seekers gain employment. Please see Back-to-work program.
♦ Food insecurity: Oregon has been ranked among the top six in the nation in the use of food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits). In Yamhill County, roughly 13% (14,845) of the population was receiving SNAP benefits in 2019, when the latest figures were available. We are providing funding on a monthly basis to the STAR program at the First Baptist Church in McMinnville to help provide free, nutritious breakfasts and to other meal sites as needed and requested.
♦ Housing: In 2018, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) fair market rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Yamhill County was $1,330 per month. The hourly wage in 2018 to afford a 2-bedroom apartment in Yamhill County was $25.50 (annual income $53,040), but the 2018 estimated hourly median renter wage was less than half of that at $12 (annual income $24,960). Give a Little is one of few area nonprofits that approves funding for rental deposits and overdue rental payments. The largest need for our funds is to help people afford the initial deposit on apartments or to pay overdue rent, often in the face of eviction.
♦ Homelessness: According to the National Point in Time 2020 Homeless Count, 1,428 people in Yamhill County are homeless, a number that includes those who are living in a shelter, in an unsheltered location, or are precariously housed (for example, couch surfing). (Please see full report "Homeless Count" in the dropdown under "About" at www.yamhillcap.org.) Our local shelters are capable of providing temporary housing for fewer than 150 people. As mentioned above under "Food Insecurity," we make regular or requested contributions to several local free meal sites. Also, we are working to help prevent homelessness by providing substantial funding for rental deposits and overdue rental payments (as mentioned in the section on Housing above).
♦ Health care: Health insurance costs and dental/vision costs ranked second and third as concerns (behind Housing) for residents surveyed by YCAP (Yamhill Community Action Partnership) for the 2018-19 Needs Assessment Report. “Focus group participants recounted times they knew neighbors who had gone without needed healthcare, especially dental and vision care, due to the cost of copays. Give a Little is particularly active in these two areas.
♦ Poverty: Before COVID-19, approximately 11.7% of Yamhill County families were living below the federal poverty level, and in the absence of updated information, we can only speculate that this percentage is now higher, perhaps significantly. The federal poverty level in 2020 is estimated at $21,720 yearly income for a family of three and $26,200 for a family of four. But it is widely recognized that the federal definition of poverty, developed in the early 1960s, is badly outdated, and that a great many more families live in conditions of poverty than the federal statistics suggest.
These families experiencing economic hardship–and often falling below the “poverty” level as defined above–include many with working parents or other family members.
The Oregon Center for Public Policy states that, “Most families in poverty are working families. In 2017, the year with most recent data, 68.7% of poor families had at least one parent in the household who worked. Some families (24.1%) had at least one parent who worked full time. Others (44.6%) had at least one parent working part time.”
Please see unitedwayalice.orgfor an illuminating report on families that are given the acronym ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). (Click on Research Center, scroll down to “by State”, then select Yamhill County.) Many ALICE families live paycheck-to-paycheck, barely able to keep up with housing, food, transportation, and other basic expenses. They have few or no savings and are extremely vulnerable when emergencies arise. Many, if not most, applicants for Give a Little funds are working adults, among whom are a large number of single parents. They could be classified as ALICE families.
In the current dire situation, our local charities, places of worship, food and shelter providers, and nonprofits are often stretched to the limit.
By means of your donations, Give a Little provides daily back-up funds to help keep people from falling through the cracks.