Diana Pearce, a senior lecturer and the director of the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington's School of Social Work, conducts research on the level of income necessary for individuals and families to meet their basic needs. A study she conducted -- "The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Washington State 2009" -- underlines the growing costs of basic needs such as housing, food, child care, health care and transportation.
The study determined that a family of one adult with one preschool child and one school-age child living in the Seattle area needs an annual income of more than $50,000 in 2009, a standard that had jumped more than 35 percent since 2001. During that same period, the minimum wage in Washington state increased from $6.72 to $8.55, or 27 percent.
Findings from the study were used to build an online calculator that offers personalized estimates on how much income an individual or family needs based on a variety of variables.
The homeless you don't see
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