We conducted interviews with parents earning low wages to understand their experiences related to financial responsibilities and use of government and informal resources in Raleigh, North Carolina. Inadequate economic opportunities and assistance programs, and high costs of living, compounded into cycles of playing catch up on expenses. Assistance programs aimed at alleviating hardships related to poverty were described as piecemeal. We found that social and economic systems failed to support parents earning low wages. Our findings suggest that ordinances that assure a livable minimum wage paired with expansions of safety net programs could better meet the needs these parents.
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- Minimum wage
- social policy