♦ Unemployment in Yamhill County (pop. 105,722 in 2017) is estimated at the rather low figure of 3.9% in 2018. (But if we include people working part-time or in temporary positions when they want to work full-time, the current unemployment rate is higher (estimated at 8.3%) . And many workers receive low wages with few or no benefits–please see information on the “working poor” and ALICE families 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.
♦ 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, 15% (16,435) of the population is receiving SNAP benefits in 2018.
♦ Housing: In 2010, 40% of Yamhill County residents could not afford apartments at the fair market rate. In 2015, 25% of all Yamhill County renters and 75% of renters with extremely low incomes paid more than 50% of their income for rent.
Give a Little is one of few area nonprofits that approves funding for rental deposits and payments. The largest need for our funds, and perhaps the most important gap we are filling–together with several partner agencies that share costs with us–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 2018 YCAP (Yamhill Community Action Partnership) count, 1,387 people in Yamhill County are homeless, a number that includes sheltered, unsheltered and precariously housed persons. (Please see www.yamhillcap.org.) Our local shelters are capable of providing temporary housing for fewer than 150 people.
♦ Poverty: Approximately 11.7% of Yamhill County families are living below the federal poverty level (estimated in 2018 at $20,760 yearly income for a family of three—which is the average family size in Oregon—and $25,100 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 But it is widely recognized that the federal definition of poverty, developed in the early 1960s, is badly outdated, and that a great many more families live in conditions of poverty than the federal statistics suggest.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 above the “poverty” level as defined above–include many with working parents or other family members. For further information on the working poor, see Oregon Center for Public Policy www.ocpp.org/tag/working-poor.
Also, please see http://unitedwayalice.org for an illuminating report on families that are given the acronym ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). (Click on “Research Center” and 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.
♦ Health care: Large numbers of Yamhill County residents continue to struggle to afford basic health services, including dental and vision needs. Give a Little is particularly active in these two areas.
In the current 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.