Breanna is married and has 4 children ages 15, 11, 3 and 1. She was in a severe car accident several years ago that has caused permanent damage to her back. Disability has denied her for social security benefits. Due to her back injuries and having two small children to take care of, she is unable to find employment.
Her husband has tried hard to find a living wage job, but does not have the skills to find a job that pays enough to support the family. A couple of years ago they lost their place to live and had to move in with her husband’s family, with all six of them doubling up with his parents. They accessed services such as SNAP and TANF and applied for all of the housing lists.
Her husband was finally able to find employment in Salem and a year later they were accepted for Marion County housing. This meant that they had to move to a small rural town outside of Salem in order to get into stable housing. This made it a long and expensive commute for her husband to get to and from work in an unreliable vehicle.
Breanna’s husband lost his job, and their family doesn’t know anyone in the small town they live in. They are struggling to make ends meet. Breanna speaks of her day-to-day struggles with surviving on little to no income, her desire to give her children a good life, and how difficult it is to have to always ask for help. She explains that her situation makes her feel isolated and depressed, about how she is unable to look towards the future because all she can see is right now is what’s in front of her. She has hope to one day be out of poverty, but she does not see how that can happen or how that will look. Breanna talks about being “stuck” and how she hates feeling “less than.”