Jeff – Working his way back into a home
Jeff worked hard all his life, and now he makes $11/hr — more than he’s ever made — and it’s still hard to make ends meet. He can’t imagine getting by on $7.25 / hr — Idaho must raise its minimum wage so hardworking people like Jeff can support themselves and their families. Read Jeff’s story
“I make $11 an hour. To be honest, I have never made that much money in my life,” says Jeff about his job as Food Distribution Manager at Interfaith Sanctuary in Boise. His work history includes folding laundry ($7.50 / hr), janitorial ($8.00 / hr) and window manufacturing ($10.75 / hr ). Jeff admits the window manufacturing was a good job, but, “I ended up screwing that up.” Conflicts with a roommate forced Jeff to leave his housing arrangement. Jeff has lived at Interfaith Sanctuary since 2019.
Jeff saves as much money as possible with his part-time job. He hopes to save $7,000 by the time his position ends. He would like to work in a restaurant, live on his own and give back to the community. That dream isn’t easy to achieve, even with the support of subsidized housing.
|Jeff’s Independent Living Budget:||Communal Housing||Subsidized 1 bedroom apt|
|Ongoing monthly expenses||$128||$128|
|Payroll Taxes (estimate)||$120||$200|
|Total Monthly Expenses||$1,068||$1,448|
|Needed monthly income to move from Interfaith Sanctuary*||$1,667||$2,667|
|Equivalent fulltime hourly salary (assumes 160 hrs / mo):||$10||$17|
|*Housing requires 30% of income be paid as rent|
|** Transportation costs low as Jeff only has a bicycle|
Jeff’s situation represents the reality of anyone starting from scratch, regardless of their age. Low wages make it nearly impossible to live independently. Entry-level wages in the food service industry range from $8.50 to $12.50 per hour. The communal living option is within reach as long as Jeff can find a fulltime job!
We can do better, Idaho. Idahoans for a Fair Wage will be his first customers when he gets a restaurant job.