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CENTRAL OKLAHOMA VITAL SIGNS BARRIERS TO SUCCESS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES

VOLUME II, EDITION II OCTOBER 2012

IN 2010, AT LEAST

10 PERCENT

OF ALL CHILDREN IN

OKLAHOMA

HAD ONE UNEMPLOYED PARENT. Source: Annie Casey Foundation

centra

l oklah om

a

ital Signs


FOR EVERY

THREE OF EVERY ONE HUNDRED

CHILDREN IN OKLAHOMA HAVE A

44 OKLAHOMA STUDENTS ENROLLED

FULL-TIME AT A

MOTHER OR FATHER

OR BOTH

4-YEAR PUBLIC COLLEGE,

IN PRISON.

24 WILL GRADUATE –

Source: Oklahoma Institute of Child Advocacy

EIGHT ON TIME,

14 WITHIN SIX YEARS,

AND TWO WITHIN

EIGHT YEARS. Source: Complete College America

TWO OF EVERY SEVEN

OKLAHOMA HOMEOWNERS SPEND

30 PERCENT OR MORE

OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD INCOME ON

MONTHLY OWNER COSTS. Source: Corporation for Enterprise Development

TWO OF EVERY 11 OKLAHOMA COUNTY RESIDENTS LIVE IN POVERTY. Source: United States Department of Commerce, Census Bureau

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Central Oklahomans face significant barriers to economic mobility. A recent report from the Pew Economic Mobility Project highlights the deteriorating status of the American Dream in regards to economic mobility − or the ability to move up and down the economic ladder during one’s lifetime and across generations. Researchers looked at the absolute and relative mobility experiences of Americans on different levels of the economic ladder, which was divided into five equal parts or “rungs.” They measured “absolute mobility” by comparing an individual’s average earnings growth over time, and “relative mobility” by comparing an individual’s rank on the economic ladder relative to that of his or her peers. Oklahoma is one of three states with the worst rates of economic mobility in the nation. Oklahomans experience less absolute mobility, less relative upward mobility, and more relative downward mobility than the rest of the nation. While some Oklahomans may have higher incomes and thus, greater wealth, than their parents did at the same age, it isn’t enough to move them up the economic ladder. This is particularly true for individuals at the top (wealthiest) and bottom (poorest) of the income ladder, where only about 40 percent will experience upward relative mobility in their lifetime. The Pew Report concludes economic mobility is influenced by an individual’s level of education, place of residence, savings, and family structure. For example, an earned bachelor’s degree is directly correlated to upward and downward mobility on the economic ladder. This issue of Vital Signs focuses on these and the other factors Central Oklahoma families face as they strive to lead positive, healthy and productive lives. In addition to providing data on the prevalence and scope of these barriers, we’ve also provided information on some of the ways in which Central Oklahomans cope with these obstacles in their daily lives. We welcome your questions and comments. Please email us at feedback@ unitedwayokc.org or call 405.236.8441. Best regards,

Eric Eissenstat Chair, United Way Research and Community Initiatives Advisory Committee Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Continental Resources, Inc.

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WAGES For many lower-income households, basic, necessary household expenditures are a source of tremendous financial burden. In order to appreciate the disparate impact of these expenditures, one needs to understand the scope of income for lower-income households. What does someone realistically need to earn in order to afford basic necessities? Depending on hourly wage rates, how many hours and/or jobs does an individual need to work in order to support his or her family? For many, “minimum wage” is considered as the base wage for determining an individual’s salary. However, additional wage definitions attempt to calculate an hourly wage that more accurately represents the income necessary to afford basic necessities such as housing, food and transportation. These definitions—Housing Wage, Living Wage, and Poverty Wage – are provided here, along with the Oklahoma Minimum Wage, to begin the discussion of family income.

THIRTY-TWO PERCENT OF JOBS IN OKLAHOMA ARE CONSIDERED

“LOW-WAGE,”

BELOW THE POVERTY THRESHOLD FOR A

FAMILY OF FOUR.

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HOUSING WAGE2 DEFINED: THE HOURLY WAGE REQUIRED TO AFFORD FAIR MARKET RENT WITHOUT SPENDING MORE THAN 30 PERCENT OF GROSS INCOME ON GROSS HOUSING COSTS.

Example : In Oklahoma City, the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom

apartment is $701. To afford this rent and utilities and avoid spending more than 30 percent of one’s income on housing, a household must earn $2,337 monthly or $28,040 annually. Assuming a 40-hour workweek, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $13.48.

1. Corporation for Enterprise Development 2. National Low Income Housing Coalition

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LIVING WAGE3 DEFINED: THE HOURLY WAGE REQUIREMENT OF THE SOLE PROVIDER; WORKING FULL-TIME TO SUPPORT A FAMILY. HOURLY WAGE CALCULATIONS ARE BASED ON TYPICAL MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES.

Example : In Oklahoma County, the estimated monthly household expenses for one adult and one child are: Food: $386 Child Care: $621 Medical: $184 Housing: $641 Transportation: $475 Other: $392 Annual Taxes: $2,430 Required Monthly After-Tax Income: $2,669 Required Annual After-Tax Income: $32,387 Required Annual Before Tax Income: $34,818 Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Living Wage of $16.74

MINIMUM WAGE4 DEFINED: THE LOWEST HOURLY WAGE EMPLOYERS WITHIN THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA MAY LEGALLY PAY TO EMPLOYEES, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED IN THE OKLAHOMA MINIMUM WAGE ACT.

POVERTY WAGE5 DEFINED: THE HOURLY WAGE BASED UPON THE 2012 FEDERAL POVERTY GUIDELINES.

Example : In Oklahoma, the current

state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this hourly wage translates into an income of $1,160 monthly or $15,080 annually.

Example : For a two-person household, the annual poverty

guideline is $15,130. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Poverty Wage of $7.27

3. Glasmeier, A. & The Pennsylvania State University 4. Oklahoma Department of Labor. Calculation by United Way of Central Oklahoma 5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Calculation by United Way of Central Oklahoma.

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EDUCATION Researchers at the Economic Mobility Project6 affirm that a four-year college degree has the ability to promote upward mobility for someone on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, and prevent downward mobility for someone in the middle or upper rungs of the ladder. Compared to a high school dropout, a high school graduate will earn approximately $130,000 more over the course of their lifetime and a college graduate will earn at least $1 million more over their lifetime.7 Today, almost 90 percent of the fastest-growing and highest-paying jobs require some form of postsecondary education.8 In January 2011, the unemployment rate among individuals without a high school diploma was more than three times the rate of those persons with a bachelor’s degree or higher.8

AVERAGE INCOME BY EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT $50,000 $40,000 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000

Less than 9th Grade

High School High School Associate’s Dropout Diploma Degree

Bachelor’s Degree

Source: US Department of Education, 2011

The reported high school graduation rates for Oklahoma are 70 percent (independent)9, 77.3 percent (federal)10, and 81.6 percent (state)11. What all three rates illustrate is nearly one quarter of Oklahoma High School students are not graduating in four years. If half of the students who dropped out from the Class of 2010 had graduated, they would collectively earn as much as $69 million more annually compared to their likely earnings without a diploma.8 6. Economic Mobility Project, Pew Center on the States 7. Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Bruce, M., & Hornig Fox, J. 8. Alliance for Excellent Education 9. Education Week EPE Research Center

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10. National Center for Education Statistics 11. Oklahoma Department of Education


Today, most jobs require not only a high school diploma, but also some college or technical training.12 In fact, 63 percent of American jobs will require some postsecondary education by 2018.12 In Oklahoma, slightly more than 300,000 job vacancies resulting from new jobs and openings due to retirement will require postsecondary credentials.12 Currently, 22.9 percent of Oklahoma adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, versus 28.2 percent nationally.13 Nationally, more students are attending college than any other time in history, but only half will complete a degree.12 Of the Oklahoma college students currently enrolled, 28 percent will not enroll in a second consecutive year of higher education, compared to 20.5 percent nationally.14 For students who complete their college education, student loans may create a major financial burden after graduation. Nationally, approximately 55 percent of public fouryear college students who graduate from the institutions where they began their studies graduate with debt.15 The average student at a public college borrows $22,000, while more than half of students at private institutions average $28,100 in student loan debt.15 A large amount of student loan debt can affect a college graduate’s ability to achieve other financial milestones, such as purchasing a home, by impacting their debt-to-income ratio.16 This is particularly true for someone in a low-paying job with a limited budget.16

12. Carnevale, A., Smith, N. & Strohl, J., Georgetown University 13. United States Department of Commerce, Census Bureau 14. College Measures 15. College Board 16. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

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UNBANKED AND UNDERBANKED HOUSEHOLDS The findings of the Economic Mobility Project also show that the amount of savings an individual has influences the ability to rise and fall on the economic ladder.6 Yet nearly half (48.2%) of all Oklahoma households are liquid asset poor and live without sufficient cash or assets that can be liquidated quickly.1 These households lack sufficient liquid assets to survive at the poverty level for three months without income.1 Oklahoma ranks among the top twelve states nationally with the highest number of unbanked households.17 The term unbanked refers to households without a checking or savings account at a bank or other financial institution.17 Alternatively, underbanked households have a checking or savings account, but rely on the alternative financial sector for services such as non-bank check-cashing services, payday loans, and refund anticipation loans.17 The most common reason why households are unbanked is the belief they do not have enough money to need or justify a bank account.17 Across the nation, households that are more likely to be unbanked include Black households (21.7%), Hispanic households (19.3%), and American Indian/Alaskan households (15.63%), as well as family households with an unmarried householder.17 Unbanked households are also more likely to have less than a college education and have a householder under the age of 45.17 In Oklahoma, nearly 10 percent (9.8%) of households are unbanked, compared to seven percent of households nationally.17 These households are largely comprised of Hispanics (42.2%) and Blacks (23.4%), and are headed by single-mothers (25.2%) and individuals who do not have a high school diploma (29.9%).17 More than one-third (34%) of Oklahoma’s unbanked households earn less than $15,000 annually.17 In contrast, nearly 22 percent (21.9%) of Oklahoma households are underbanked, compared to 17.9 percent of households nationally.17 Oklahoma’s underbanked are comprised of Black (38.6%) and Hispanic (21.8%) households, and more than one-third (36.6%) are headed by single mothers.17 Unlike unbanked households, slightly less than one-third (31.1%) of underbanked householders have earned a high school degree and completed some college education.17 Further differentiating the underbanked from the unbanked is the distribution of annual household income levels: 23 percent earn less than $30,000, more than one-quarter (28.8%) earn between $30,000-50,000, and 21 percent earn $50,000+.17

U.S. HOUSEHOLDS WITH ANNUAL EARNINGS

BELOW $30,000 ACCOUNT FOR AT LEAST 71 PERCENT OF UNBANKED HOUSEHOLDS.17 17. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

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MORE THAN HALF (53.5%) OF OKLAHOMA HOUSEHOLDS EARNING

LESS THAN $30,000 ANNUALLY

HAVE USED ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SECTOR SERVICES.17

Both unbanked and underbanked residents cope with the financial burdens of daily life by using alternative financial sector (AFS) credit services.17 Even with an existing bank account, the majority of underbanked households use non-banks for money orders and check cashing primarily for convenience, followed closely by speed and cost.17 Furthermore, many underbanked households that rely on payday loans or pawn shops for credit services do so primarily because it is easier to qualify for a loan from the AFS provider than a mainstream financial institution.17

Percentage of Households

100

OKLAHOMA HOUSEHOLDS’ USE OF ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SECTOR PRODUCTS Unbanked Underbanked

80

All Households

60 40 20

Non-Bank Money Order

Non-Bank Check Cashing

Payday Lending

Pawn Shop Rent-to-Own

Refund Anticipation Loan

Source: FDIC, 2009 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

Oklahoma households use AFS credit services (payday lending, pawn shops, rent to own, refund anticipation loans) at a much higher rate (17.5%) than the average American household (11%).17 In fact, Oklahoma ranks third behind Arizona and Kentucky in overall use of AFS credit services, a rate that increases for low-income households.17

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POVERTY When official poverty thresholds were developed more than 40 years ago, they did not account for increased standards of living, child care expenses, variations in medical costs, or geographic differences in living expenses.18 These threshold estimates, still in use today, are compared to money income before taxes and do not include the value of noncash benefits.18 Put simply, basing the measure solely on monetary income does not fully represent the economic well-being of individuals and families.

POVERTY THRESHOLDS

Poverty thresholds issued by the Census Bureau are used when estimating the number of people living in poverty.19 Eight percent of Oklahoma County residents live at 50 percent of the poverty threshold,13 or $11,406 annually for a family of two adults and two children.20 A family of four living in this depth of poverty earns less than $1,000 per month ($951), which translates to roughly $8 per person, per day. With the income-to-poverty ratio13 in mind, these same Oklahoma County residents would need to earn an additional $11,406 just to be within 100 percent of the poverty threshold.

NEARLY ONE-QUARTER

(23.8%) OF ALL OKLAHOMA COUNTY

FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

SURVIVE ON A HOUSEHOLD INCOME

BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL, COMPARED TO 17.9 PERCENT NATIONALLY.13 18. DeNavas-Walt, C., Proctor, B., & Smith, J., United States Department of Commerce, Census Bureau 19. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Poverty Guidelines 20. United States Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division

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POVERTY GUIDELINES When determining eligibility for social assistance programs, the Census Bureau’s poverty thresholds are simplified into poverty guidelines based on family size and composition.18 In 2011, a 100 percent poverty guideline for a family of two adults and two children was $23,050.19 This translates to a monthly household income of $1,921. For individuals with limited income and resources who are also disabled, blind, or age 65 and older, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides a monthly financial benefit. The 2012 monthly federal payment limit for an individual is $698 and $1,048 for a couple.21 In 2011, more than 95,000 Oklahomans received SSI benefits.22 Of that number, nearly 20 percent—19,083 recipients—were Oklahoma County residents.21 Each year, the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City works with more than 10,000 central Oklahoma families who are faced with the negative consequences of poverty—risk for homelessness, hunger, unemployment and underemployment, and underperforming schools. In doing so, the Urban League combines an array of social and human service programs designed to equip people and families with the tools and social capital needed to break the cycle of poverty. Programs include supplemental education for K-12 students, affordable and quality housing options, health education, entrepreneurial development, and job training and employment opportunities.

21. Social Security Administration, Research, Statistics, & Policy Analysis 22. Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics

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FOOD SECURITY When a household lacks the financial resources to fully meet their basic food needs, they are considered food insecure.23 With one in six Oklahomans living in a food insecure household, Oklahoma ranks among the top six states with the greatest prevalence of household-level food insecurity.24 On average, households spend $43.75 per person, per week on food nationwide.24 Households with children under the age of 18, as well as households living below the poverty threshold, spend approximately $33 per person, per week.24 For a four-person household, this means an average of $132 per week spent on food, roughly $528 per month.

SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, serves as the nutritional safety net for low income families and individuals. Nationally, SNAP benefits increased from an average of 33.4 million recipients per month in 2009 to 46.4 million in April 2012.25 In Oklahoma, the average monthly benefit has increased by $37 since 2007, for a total of $128.43 per person.24 These benefits may be used to purchase nutritious grocery items such as breads, cereals, meat and dairy products, and fresh produce.

IN OKLAHOMA COUNTY,

MORE THAN HALF

(55%) OF ALL

HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN

RECEIVE SNAP BENEFITS.13

23. Tiehen, L., Jolliffe, D., & Gundersen, C., United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) 24. Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M. & Carlson, S., USDA 25. USDA, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

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NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH AND BREAKFAST PROGRAMS To ensure children receive appropriate nutrition during the school day, the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs make low-cost or free nutritious meals available to all students enrolled in school.26 Any child may purchase a meal through the program, though children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty level are eligible for free meals.26 Children with household incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are eligible for reduced– price meals.26 Students eligible for reduced– price meals can be charged no more than 40 cents per meal.26 Statewide, in 2012, more than 466,900 students participated in the lunch program.26 In Oklahoma City Public Schools, 90 percent (89.8%) of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.27 On average, 17,959 Oklahoma City students participate in the breakfast program and nearly 33,000 students participate in the lunch program daily.27

26. USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, School Meals 27. Oklahoma City Public Schools, 2010-11 Statistical Profile

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HOUSING AND UTILITIES In the Oklahoma City Metro Area, the median monthly housing cost for a mortgaged home is $1,187.13 Individuals who rent have a median monthly housing cost of $713.13 For 29 percent of homeowners with mortgages, and more than half (51%) of renters, 30 percent or more of all household income is spent on housing.13 Allocating such a large portion of household income to housing oftentimes proves impossible for many families. In these circumstances, low-income individuals and families can receive housing assistance through programs provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Through the Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly Section 8), very low-income individuals and families are able to choose and lease privately-owned rental housing at affordable rates.28 Approximately 53,000 Oklahomans receive Housing Choice Vouchers, of which 22,031 are Oklahoma County residents.29 Alternatively, local housing agencies, such as the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, manage and provide affordable, publicly-owned rental housing units for low-income families.30 Statewide, nearly 24,000 individuals reside in public housing, with one in four participants living in Oklahoma County.29

28. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (USHUD), Office of Housing Choice Vouchers 29. USHUD, Picture of Subsidized Households 2009 30. USHUD, Public Housing Program

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In the United States, a four-person household spends about $4,671 on public utilities, or 7.4 percent of their total household expenditures.31 These utilities include electricity, telephone, natural gas, water, and other public services.31 Expenditures are highest for electricity, accounting for approximately 38 percent of an average household’s utility budget.31 In fact, electricity consumes a greater share of after-tax income – $1.50 of every $100 – than at any time since 1996.32 At times, low-income families may be faced with an overwhelming utility bill and unsure of where to turn for assistance. In these circumstances, local nonprofit organizations such as Catholic Charities, Community Action Agency, The Salvation Army, and Upward Transitions are available to provide emergency utility assistance for eligible individuals and families. Individuals that are already receiving public housing assistance are eligible for a monthly utility allowance through the public housing agency. In Oklahoma County, 92 percent of participants receive an average monthly utility allowance of $134.29

RESIDENTS IN THE SOUTHERN REGION OF THE UNITED STATES SPEND MORE ON UTILITIES

—6.4 PERCENT OF PRE-TAX INCOME—

THAN RESIDENTS IN OTHER REGIONS.31

31. Beecher, J., Michigan State University Institute of Public Utilities 32. Cauchon, D., USA TODAY

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MEDICAL CARE In Oklahoma County, one in four residents in the labor force lacks health insurance coverage.13 This rate increases greatly for the jobless, affecting more than half (59.1%) of unemployed Oklahoma County residents.13 For 90 percent of uninsured workers nationwide, the cost of health insurance, not the availability, is the primary barrier keeping them from being insured.33 While the monthly premium may not increase, many employees are being asked to pay higher deductibles and co-payments for their health coverage—and usually without an accompanying increase in compensation.33 The burden of these out-of-pocket expenses is proving to be a significant barrier for a number of people. Nationally, one-third of Americans are in families experiencing a financial burden as a result of medical care.34

PERSONS IN FAMILIES WITH SELECTED FINANCIAL BURDENS OF MEDICAL CARE

100

Percent

80 60 40 20

20

32.4

26.2 10.5

Problems paying medical bills in past 12 months

Currently have medical bills that are being paid over time

Currently have medical bills that they are unable to pay at all

Source: Centers for Disease Control, National Health Interview Survey

33. Employee Benefit Research Institute 34. Cohen, R., Gindi, R., & Kirzinger, W., National Center for Health Statistics

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Any financial burden of medical care


Individuals without health coverage seek medical care at significantly lower rates than individuals with coverage, oftentimes delaying care because of the pending financial obligation. By delaying care, these individuals are oftentimes susceptible to greater health risks and, in turn, increased treatment costs.

IN OKLAHOMA COUNTY,

ONE IN FOUR

RESIDENTS IS UNINSURED.13

SOONERCARE: OKLAHOMA’S MEDICAID For many lower income Oklahomans, health coverage provided through Medicaid helps ease the financial burden that is oftentimes associated with medical care. Nationally, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide health coverage for nearly 60 million lower income Americans.35 Eligibility for the Medicaid program is determined by a family’s or individual’s income in relation to a percentage of the federal poverty guidelines.35 If eligible, Medicaid coverage helps pay for some or all medical bills and can include doctor visits, hospitalizations, and prescriptions for children, pregnant women, parents, older adults, and individuals with disabilities. In Oklahoma, Medicaid is known as SoonerCare and is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.36 In Oklahoma County, nearly 27 percent (26.72%) of the population receives health coverage through SoonerCare – comprising approximately 18 percent of the state’s total SoonerCare enrollment.36 In the past six months, more than 4,100 Oklahoma County residents have enrolled in SoonerCare as new members.36

35. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services 36. Oklahoma Health Care Authority

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INCARCERATION Oklahoma has the third highest incarceration rate in the nation, incarcerating 654 persons per 100,000.38 The state leads the nation in the incarceration of female offenders (130 per 100,000) and has the fifth highest incarceration rate for male offenders (1,190 per 100, 000).39 The average Oklahoma prisoner is released with $300 to their name.40 Upon release, any offender who is discharged and released into Oklahoma County must earn approximately $16,000 annually to be self-sustaining without public assistance.41 If a prisoner is released without some form of government identification, securing a job is nearly impossible and the process to attain identification is lengthy.40 Even with identification, an ex-offender’s prior record may severely limit job opportunities. In Oklahoma, state statutes can also limit an ex-offender’s ability to obtain an occupational license.40 Without a source of income, offenders are unable to provide the damage and utilities deposits and first-month’s rent required for most rental housing.40 Housing alternatives, such as public housing, are sometimes legally unavailable to offenders.40 If an offender is able to secure employment, previous financial obligations such as child support and court costs may result in wage garnishment and further limit their ability to be self-sustaining.40

OF THE 25,885 OFFENDERS IN OKLAHOMA, MORE THAN HALF (51.6%)

ARE INCARCERATED FOR NON-VIOLENT CRIMES.37 37. Oklahoma Department of Corrections (OKDOC), Facts at a Glance 38. Guerino, P., Harrison, P., & Sabol, W., United States Department of Justice 39. OKDOC, Facts Sheet 40. Oklahoma Reentry Policy Council, Final Report

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41. OKDOC, Facts and Frequently Asked Questions


It is estimated that half of Oklahoma’s adult prison population are parents to 27,000 minor children.42 Approximately 11 of every 1,000 Oklahoma children will see their parent go into an Oklahoma prison each year.42 Half of the children with incarcerated parents are under the age of 10.42 Of the female offender population, 85 percent are mothers, and more than half are mothers to minor children.42 On average, Oklahoma’s female offenders have three children each.42 At the time of their incarceration, 45 percent lived with at least one minor child.42 After imprisonment, approximately six percent of their children are placed in foster care and onethird of the children live with their other parent.42 Children have few, if any, visits with their incarcerated parent. Families are unable to grow and share major life events together due to the long-term separation caused by incarceration. As a result of emotional and social deprivation throughout their childhood, the children of incarcerated parents are five times more likely to go to prison themselves.42 Forty percent of children with an incarcerated parent live with a grandparent.42 This trend undoubtedly contributes to the nearly 40,000 grandparents statewide who are currently raising their grandchildren.13 Nationally, Oklahoma has the 10th highest percentage, or 51.4 percent, of grandparents who live with one or more grandchildren under the age of 18 and serve as their primary caregiver.13 This percentage far exceeds the national rate of 39 percent.13

42. Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

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Bill Citty Insider’s Perspective

Chief of Police, Oklahoma City Police Department

In March of this year, officers responded to a domestic assault that was just one of many assaults endured by the mother of two children, a nine-year-old daughter and four-yearold son. On this day the abuse ended when the father succumbed to self-inflicted injuries to his throat and wrists after stabbing his wife multiple times. Fortunately, the mother and her children survived. Investigators described the interview of the nine-year-old daughter who witnessed the violence as being hard to watch because of her lack of emotion. She was clearly a child who was forced to witness years of violence. Investigators described her account of the attack as if it was a matter of routine. It was obvious she had grown up in fear, but was brave in trying to protect her mother and brother from years of abuse. In the first three months of 2012, domestic violence related deaths accounted for half of all homicides in Oklahoma City. In most of these cases there was no police involvement with the victims prior to their deaths. The Oklahoma City Police Department works approximately 125 domestic violence cases a week. Most of these cases include children living in the homes where domestic violence occurs. In reality, more than twice as many people are directly affected by the violence if you include families with children and even more if you include the ones that aren’t reported. Domestic violence impacts all of us in the community. It impacts our neighborhoods, workplace and schools. Children live in fear every day while worrying about their safety or the safety of their parent. It impacts their ability to excel in school, as well as their opportunity to grow and experience a normal childhood. A high percentage of children growing up with family violence will continue the learned behavior in adulthood. Fear prevents many women from seeking help to break the cycle of abuse. The control of a spouse by the abuser is built on those fears regardless of whether it’s physical, psychological or monetary. These are legitimate fears that keep victims from reporting abuse or asking for help. It is difficult to convince victims of domestic abuse there is a way out, but women every day prove they can break the cycle of abuse with the help of family, friends or social services in the community. The Oklahoma City Police Department works closely with the YWCA to assist victims of domestic violence with services and temporary shelter that provides a safe environment for families. Currently, the Oklahoma City Police Department is supporting the YWCA in their campaign to increase the size of the shelter to create more space where children can be children and women can get the help they need to change their lives. At the risk of increasing the number of domestic abuse cases in a state that already ranks as one of the highest in the nation, we need more victims to report the abuse and seek help before it takes their lives or continues the chain of abuse in future generations by exposing their children to family violence.

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Jennifer Wallis

Former Vice-President, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma

Insider’s Perspective

What does $20 mean to you? Maybe it’s a fun lunch out with your friends. For many, we get $20 from the ATM and days later, the money is gone and we aren’t even sure where we spent it. Now imagine that $20 is the only thing that is standing between you and self-sufficiency. Even worse, you don’t have it, you can’t borrow it, and without it, you will stay trapped in a hopeless situation. Unfortunately, for many Oklahomans, this scenario is all too familiar. Many programs exist to help someone find a job, learn how to balance a check-book, or receive assistance to go back to school, putting them on the road to self-sufficiency. But even when these individuals are able to find jobs, there may still be hurdles to overcome. For example, some job placements require non-skid shoes that cost $20. Without them, individuals are not allowed to report for work. It’s a terrible catch-22. Finally, they’ve found a way out of a difficult situation and are on a path to financial self-sufficiency. But, a pair of $20 shoes may be standing in their way. One undermining factor for those living in poverty is the lack of resources. You may have multiple ways to access $20 − through your own bank account, family, friends, church, or neighbors. It is difficult to fathom that many members of our community don’t have a single person to turn to for the $20 they need to buy the shoes that could change their life. Yet, it happens every day, right here in our community. A person’s ability to leave a life of poverty is oftentimes more dependent upon other resources than their financial resources. These resources include support systems made up of family, friends, and neighbors who can provide positive, enriching relationships—as well as back up resources that are available during times of emergency. We, as friends, neighbors, coworkers, church members, and service providers, have the tendency to overlook these essential resources when evaluating the need gaps that exist in our community. Let us do a better job of checking in, of calling, texting, emailing, and visiting, and offering assistance and a kind gesture. Let us be a community of offering, not asking, and help one another live better, healthier, happier lives.

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RESEARCH AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES COMMITTEE Eric Eissenstat, Chair • Jane Abraham • Dewayne Andrews • Nancy Anthony • Allison Loeffler • Cordell Brown • Jim Buchanan Deborah Copeland • Mark Davies, Ph. D • Michael Davis • Drew Dugan • James Elder • Marti Ferretti • Neil Hann Carole Hall Hardeman, Ph.D. • Jenny Hatton • Marsha Ingersoll • Christi Jernigan • George Johnson • Mike Joseph • Craig Knutson Steve Kreidler • Linda Larason • Mary Ann McCaffree, M.D. • Tim O’Connor • Elaine Purvis • Doug Reed • Doug Rex Robert Reynolds • Jim Roth • Dave Schroeder • Steve Shepelwich • Lonetta Smith • Perry Sneed • Chuck Spicer • Ryan Stafford Robert Toler • Chad Wilkerson

STAFF Debby Hampton • Blair Schoeb • Ashleigh Sorrell Rose • Katy Bergman

VOLUNTEER REVIEWERS Tsinena Bruno-Thompson, President & CEO, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children Dr. Carole Hall Hardeman, Associate Graduate Dean & Professor, Langston University George Johnson, Retired, Oklahoma Department of Human Services Linda Larason, Associate Director, Oklahoma County Medical Society Perry Sneed, Sheet Metal Workers AFL-CIO 124 Dr. Valerie Thompson, President & CEO, Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City Jennifer Wallis, former Vice-President, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma

BIBLIOGRAPHY Alliance for Excellent Education. (AEE) (2011, March). Education and the Economy: Boosting Oklahoma’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates. Retrieved from http://www.all4ed.org/files/Oklahoma_seb.pdf AEE. (2009). Understanding High School Graduation Rates in Oklahoma. July 2009. Retrieved from http://www.all4ed.org/files/Oklahoma_wc.pdf American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. (2012). How Student Loans Impact Your Credit. 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy. Retrieved from http://www.360financialliteracy.org Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Bruce, M., & Hornig Fox, J. (2012). Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic. Annual Update 2012. [Report] Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, America’s Promise Alliance, & Alliance for Excellent Education. Beecher, J. (2012, March). Consumer Expenditures on Utilities in 2010. Retrieved from Michigan State University, Institute on Public Utilities Regulatory Research and Education website: http://www.ipu.msu.edu/research/pdfs/IPU-Consumer-Expenditures-on-Utilities-2010-2012.pdf Carnevale, A., Smith, N. & Strohl, J. (2010). Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements through 2018. Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, June 2010. Retrieved from http://www.cew.georgetown.edu Cauchon, D. (2011, December 13). Household electricity bills skyrocket. USA TODAY. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/story/2011-12-13/electric-bills/51840042/1 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2012). Medicaid Eligibility. Retrieved from http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Eligibility/Eligibility.html Cohen, R., Gindi, R., & Kirzinger, W. (2012, March). Financial Burden of Medical Care: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January – June 2011. Retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/financial_burden_of_medical_care_032012.pdf Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M. & Carlson, S. (2011). Household Food Security in the United States in 2010. (Economic Research Report No. 125) United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/121076/err125_2_.pdf College Board. (2011). Trends in Student Aid 2011. Trends in Higher Education Series. College Board Advocacy and Policy Center. Retrieved from http://trends.collegeboard.org/downloads/Student_Aid_2011.pdf College Measures. (2012). Oklahoma Public Colleges Performance Scorecard. College Measures 4-Year College Data Tool. [database] Accessed at http://collegemeasures.org/4-year_colleges/state/OK/scorecard/ Corporation for Enterprise Development (2012, January). State Profile: Oklahoma. Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. Retrieved from http://scorecard.assetsandopportunity.org/2012/state/ok DeNavas-Walt, C., Proctor, B., & Smith, J. (2011, September). Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010. (Current Population Reports, Consumer Income). Retrieved from the Census Bureau website: http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf


Economic Mobility Project. (2012). Economic Mobility of the States. Washington, D.C.: Pew Center on the States. Retrieved from http://www.pewstates.org/research/data-visualizations/economic-mobility0of-the-states-interactive-85899381539 Education Week EPE Research Center. (2011). Oklahoma State Graduation Report. District Graduation Rate Map Tool. Accessed at http://www.edweek.org/apps/maps/?intc=thed Employee Benefit Research Institute (2012, May). Trends in Employment-Based Coverage Among Workers, and Access to Coverage Among Uninsured Workers, 1995-2011. (Notes Vol. 33, No. 5). Retrieved from http://www.ebri.org/pdf/notespdf/EBRI_Notes_05_May-12.RSPM-ER.Cvg1.pdf Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (2009, December). National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households. Retrieved from http://www.fdic.gov/householdsurvey/full_report.pdf Glasmeier, A. (2012). Living Wage Calculation for Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. Living Wage Calculator, Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier and The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved http://livingwage.mit.edu/counties/40109 Guerino, P., Harrison, P., & Sabol, W. (2011, December). Prisoners in 2010, Appendix Table 9. United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p10.pdf National Low Income Housing Coalition (2012). Housing Wage Calculator. Retrieved from http://nlihc.org/library/wagecalc Oklahoma City Public Schools. (2011, December). Oklahoma City Public Schools 2010-2011 Statistical Profile. Department of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Retrieved from http://okcps.schooldesk.net/ Oklahoma Department of Corrections (OKDOC). (2012, January). Did You Know? Facts and Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from http://www.doc.state.ok.us/newsroom/publications/didyouknow.pdf OKDOC. (2012, May). Facts at a Glance May 31, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.doc.state.ok.us/newsroom/facts/DOC_Facts_At_A_Glance_May_2012.pdf OKDOC. 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Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of Snap Benefits. (Economic Research Report No. 132) United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/478608/err132_1_.pdf United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). (2012). National School Lunch Program: Children Participating, June 29, 2012, Table. Food and Nutrition Service, School Meals. Retrieved from http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/32sllatest.htm USDA. (2012). National School Lunch Program Fact Sheet. Food and Nutrition Service, School Meals. Retrieved from http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/lunch/aboutlunch/NSLPFactSheet.pdf USDA. (2012). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Average Monthly Benefit Per Person, June 29, 2012, Table. Food and Nutrition Service, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Retrieved from http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/18SNAPavg$PP.htm USDA. (2012). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Monthly Data, National Level, June 29, 2012, Table. Food and Nutrition Service, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Retrieved from http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/34SNAPmonthly.htm United States Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (UDC) (2010). 2010 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, Oklahoma County, OK. Retrieved from the Census Bureau website: http://factfinder2.census.gov/ USDC (2012, February). 2011 Poverty Thresholds. Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division: Poverty. Retrieved from the Census Bureau website: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/threshld/index.html United States Department of Health and Human Services. (2012, January). 2012 HHS Poverty Guidelines. Retrieved from http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/12poverty.shtml United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (USHUD). (2012). Housing Choice Vouchers Fact Sheet. Office of Housing Choice Vouchers. Retrieved from http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD USHUD. (2012). Hud’s Public Housing Program Fact Sheet. Office of Public and Indian Housing. Retrieved from http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD USHUD. (2009). Picture of Subsidized Households for 2009. Data Set. Retrieved from http://www.huduser.org/portal/picture/picture2009.html


United Way of Central Oklahoma P.O. Box 837 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101 www.unitedwayokc.org 405-236-8441

A SINGLE PARENT WITH TWO YOUNG CHILDREN LIVING IN OKLAHOMA COUNTY

WOULD NEED TO EARN

$16.74 PER HOUR AT A FULL-TIME JOB TO COVER

BASIC EXPENDITURES

WITHOUT PUBLIC OR

PRIVATE ASSISTANCE. Source: Oklahoma Policy Institute

Vital Signs is a publication of United Way of Central Oklahoma. We welcome your questions and comments. Please email us at feedback@unitedwayokc.org or call 405.236.8441.

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Vital Signs: Barriers to Success for Individuals and Families  
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