After more than 10 years as a social services counselor, Diane found herself in an almost unimaginable role reversal. With her 3-year-old son and teenage daughter, Diane moved to a family emergency shelter – one of the same shelters to which she referred her clients. How is the recession affecting the lives of economically vulnerable families raising young children in King County? To find out, Communities Count (a partnerhsip of City, County and other community partners) interviewed a diverse group of low- to middle-income parents.1 In this post, Communities Count explores the economic borderland that few middle-class parents ever imagine they will inhabit. From the perspective of this unfamiliar world, the essential role of social service benefits is examined in helping families work their way to self-sufficiency.
Household incomes shrank for a second year in 2009, as the recession eroded the share of American families earning more than $100,000 and swelled the ranks of people who are poor or barely making it. Income estimates out on Sept. 28 from the American Community Survey, a wide array of census statistics reported annually, show the recession’s effect on millions of families.
The median income of $50,221 is down about 4 percent from its peak since the recession began in December 2007. Median household income that year was $52,384. About $1,500 of that loss occurred last year. The story was no different in the Seattle area. In King County, the median household income was down 4.7 percent, to $67,806. Snohomish County households fared slightly better, slipping 3.1 percent to $64,658. The percentage of King County households making $100,000 and more declined from 32.2 percent to 31 percent, and the percentage of those making less than $25,000 increased from 15.8 percent to 16.7 percent.
For more details read this article in the Seattle Times.