The Self-Sufficiency Standard in Northern Colorado
On March 19, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado in partnership with United Way of Larimer County and United Way of Weld County hosted a community presentation about the Colorado Self-Sufficiency Standard, as reported by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy.
Every few years, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy conducts research on what it takes to make ends meet in Colorado. It’s no surprise that even in a short amount of time , the numbers have changed dramatically. Northern Colorado keeps growing, which has led to a sharp increase in the cost of living and has made it difficult for families to be self-sufficient . The Self-Sufficiency Standard for a family of three with one preschooler and one school-aged child in Larimer County is $59,694 annually.
Self-sufficiency is different from what is referred to as the “poverty line” and many people struggle because they fall between the two categories. In Colorado as a whole, one in four households lack a high enough income to meet basic needs, yet one third do not qualify to receive any federal or state assistance, as they are not considered to be within the poverty level. This disparity causes a large number of Colorado families to experience economic distress, yet there is no effective way for them to meet the Self-Sufficiency Standard.
Additionally, many single mothers fall into this situation in large part due rising rent and cost of high quality childcare. According to the “The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Colorado 2018” the cost of a two-bedroom apartment is $1,106 and childcare is $1,608 per month. When single mothers cannot make ends meet for their families, this can lead to children not getting the proper care and the basic necessities they need to thrive in our community.
This report reinforces United Way of Larimer County’s focus on financial stability and Youth and Education. Our partnerships with organizations like Teaching Tree Early Learning Childcare Center and programs like WomenGive help children and families develop pathways to success. United Way of Larimer County will continue to focus on this ongoing issue and look for additional opportunities to strengthen our community. For more information on the Self-Sufficiency Standard report click here.