Working at minimum wage cannot support a family of three

Why are adults in our community forced to make hard choices? It all comes down to not having enough money.

An individual with two children working full time, all 52 weeks of the year and earning the Ohio minimum wage of $8.70 an hour would earn $18,096 per year – well below the poverty threshold for a family of three.

At lower wages, you have to work more hours to earn enough to get by. That means that you don’t have time for other things, like taking care of your health, engaging in your child’s education. Poverty is a problem of a lack of resources. And that lack of resources has real consequences for communities.


A living wage – meaning the wage someone would have to learn to get by without government assistance, charity, or help from friends or family – is $56,119 per year. In Cuyahoga County, the median income is $49,910, which means that half of people in the county earn less and half earn more. Many of our neighbors need assistance to make ends meet.


Center for Community Solutions, Poverty Speaks Survey, 2019