Oregon families are struggling more than almost any other state in the entire nation, as we sink to the bottom 10 in family economic stability.
The Casey Foundation uses four measurements, and in all areas Oregon is worsening. Lack of jobs and a long recession at the heart of the problem.
For some it's just the way it is.
"My baby is a year old so I don't know any different than raising him in the recession."
Medford resident, Tiekara Coe says the last couple years have not been easy and it's just getting harder.
"It takes all of our income to make our a household work."
New statistics today from the Casey Foundation put Oregon in the bottom ten states for family economic stability - meaning 22% of the state's children live in poverty.
"I've thought this recession was going to end and it's not. It's just getting harder," says Dee Anne Everson of United Way.
It means 184,000 kids in Oregon are living in poverty and nearly double that number have parent's without stable jobs.
"I think we have to solve the jobs problem," continues Everson.
Parents struggle to find, and keep, work. Part of the safety net for these families is United Way and Dee Anne Everson.....
"Hopechest helped a family with four kids whose power had been off for two weeks. Their neighbor had been helping them with an extension cord."
And she says, while programs are experiencing monetary cuts, there is hope for families.
"The critical part is that a little bit of help exists, before you need a lot of help, ask."
She says for those who still can, to give.
"A lot of people don't have extra money, but they may have extra book, extra toys, extra school supplies."
Somehow Tiekara finds the positive in that her children will be stronger for the future.
"On one hand it might be better for kids living in this because they won't expect everything given to them."
Just trying to find the upside during tough economic times.
Here's some links to organizations that are helping and need donations that don't involve cash:
United Way: http://www.unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org/give
Access Plant a Row: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf
St. Vincent de Paul Walk/Run: http://www.svdpusa.net/pledgathon/public/index.php
Salvation Army Backpack Drive: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf
American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.d8aaecf214c576bf971e4cfe43181aa0/?vgnextoid=d0061a53f1c37110VgnVCM1000003481a10aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default