♦ Unemployment in Yamhill County (pop. 102,659 in 2015) is estimated at the rather low figure of 4.2% in 2015. (But if we include people working part-time or in temporary positions when they want to work full-time, the current unemployment rate is considerably higher. 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 is ranked fourth highest in the nation in the use of food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits). Latest figures show that nearly 20% (19,299) of the population in Yamhill County is receiving SNAP benefits.
♦ Housing and homelessness: In 2010, 40% of Yamhill County residents could not afford apartments at the fair market rate. 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 and overdue rent.
According to the 2016 YCAP (Yamhill Community Action Partnership) count, 1,192 people in Yamhill County are homeless. This represents a higher percentage of the population than in Portland, where the homeless problem is widely recognized as dire and chronic. Our local shelters are capable of providing temporary housing for fewer than 150 people.
♦ Poverty: Approximately 15% of Yamhill County families are living below the federal poverty level (estimated in 2015 at $20,090 yearly income for a family of three—which is the average family size in Oregon—and $24,250 for a family of four.) But it is generally accepted that the federal definition of poverty, developed in the early 1960s, is badly outdated, and that a great many more families live in conditions of poverty than the federal statistics suggest.
Also, many individuals and families are working but still living in poverty. According to the most recent data, approximately seven out of 10 (71%) among Oregon’s families in poverty had at least one parent who worked full-time (24%) or part-time (47%). For further information on the working poor, see 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 “Reports” and look under “Second Cohort” for the Mid-Willamette Valley.) Many of these families live paycheck-to-paycheck, barely able to keep up with housing, food, transportation, and other basic expenses, and they are extremely vulnerable when emergencies arise.
Many, if not most, applicants for Give a Little funds, could be classified as ALICE families.
♦ Health care: Large numbers of Yamhill County residents continue to struggle for 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.