Erin Zygaitis, Eugene

Child care is so expensive, I often feel like I’m working just to pay the babysitter. Even though I have a steady job, financial insecurity is something I live with constantly.
— Erin Zygaitis

Erin is a single mom who works in the floral industry. She earned her bachelor's degree at U of O and has spent the last ten years working her way up and now manages a floral shop. She has a lot of responsibility and is still only paid $12 an hour. It's not enough for the basics for her and her daughter, and childcare is cripplingly expensive.

Kasil Kapriel, Portland

If we raised the minimum wage, I would be able to take home more money each paycheck – money I could use to pay my rent on time and save for my children’s education. Most importantly, I would feel like I was treated with respect for the work I do.
— Kasil Kapriel

Kasil is a single mother of 3 who has worked at PDX for 8 years. When she first started, she was paid minimum wage, and after 8 years she is still paid minimum wage. It isn't enough to pay for her rent, which has gone up three times in the last two years, nor the health insurance that's offered through her employer. Not only is her wage insufficient but her hours have been dropping, too, making it even harder to pay rent on time. 

Ashley Bardales, Forest Grove

Why are we, valuable members of society, expected to suffer in poverty, despite working hard and playing by the rules? No Oregonian should be working 40 hours a week, and not afford to pay the rent.
— Ashley Bardales

Ashley is a single mother of two who lives with her parents because she's unable to afford a place of her own. She's worked in the service industry for 11 years, and has never earned more than a dollar above minimum wage. She's attempted to pursue higher education, but worries that she'll earn a degree but still won't be paid a livable wage. She wants to be self-sufficient and to be able to provide for her family, not have to make the choice between feeding herself or her children so that she doesn't risk eviction.

AuthorChristine Saunders