How much does a family of 3 need to earn to get by?

Why are adults in our community forced to make hard choices? It all comes down to not having enough money. An individual with 2 children working full time, all 52 weeks of the year and earning the Ohio minimum wage of $8.70 an hour would earn $18,096 per year – they would be below the poverty threshold for a family of 3.

A living wage – meaning the wage someone would have to learn to get by without government assistance, charity, or help from friends or family – is $56,119 per year. In Cuyahoga County the median income is $49,910 – that means half of people in the county earn less than this amount annually, and half earn more. This means that a lot of our neighbors need assistance to make ends meet.


At lower wages, you have to work more hours to earn enough to get by. That means that you don’t have time for other things, like taking care of your health, engaging in your child’s education. Poverty is a problem of a lack of resources. And that lack of resources has real consequences for communities