A Fighting Chance: Sarah and Matt

//A Fighting Chance: Sarah and Matt

Sarah and Matt are living paycheck-to-paycheck in Austin, Texas. When their third child Cooper, now 3, was born with dislocated hips and crisscrossed legs, he needed constant care, several surgeries, and physical therapy.  Sarah was forced to choose between keeping her full-time job as a nurse and caring for her newborn baby.

Since Sarah stopped working, their family of five has been struggling to live on just one income. They moved out of their townhome because they couldn’t afford the rent and applied for food stamps because they didn’t have enough money for food, gas, utilities, and other expenses. They were forced to split their family up while looking for a new place to live – Sarah took their children to live in New York with her family, and Matt stayed in Austin to live with his parents while working and making money for Sarah and the kids.

They found affordable housing through a local Austin housing program but are struggling to get out of the cycle of poverty. Matt is waiting to find out about a job promotion, and Sarah has started working part-time again now that Cooper is more stable. They hope to one day afford a house with a backyard for their children and Sarah hopes to go back to school to become a registered nurse.

At the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we believe in a Texas that offers everyone the chance to compete and succeed in life. We envision a Texas where everyone is healthy, well-educated, and financially secure. We want the best Texas - a proud state that sets the bar nationally by expanding opportunity for all. CPPP is an independent public policy organization that uses data and analysis to advocate for solutions that enable Texans of all backgrounds to reach their full potential. We dare Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families.

1 Comment

  • This is a classic story for many families, including a similar story for our own family. I call it “the working poor” – make too much for assistance (if there’s any to be had at all) and not making enough to cover the basic essentials for living off the street. I’m not keen about hand-outs, but surely hand-ups!

    KM 06.02.2013

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