Stories From You

Tangeryne Whigham of Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Tangeryne Whigham says, she just couldn’t imagine trying to survive on minimum wage.

Making just $11/hr, Tangeryne finds it hard enough to provide for herself and her three children. For her raising the minimum wage is a matter of allowing people to provide for themselves and their families.

She described the difficulty of finding payments an apartment when it is so often expected that your salary should be three times as high as the rent.

“How can that be done on minimum wage,” said Tangeryne. “How could anybody be expected to provide a good life for themselves or their loved ones with such poor salaries? Providing the basics even for Tangryne was hard enough.”

For her there are just to many questions and only one answer, raise the minimum wage.

Add your voice to Tangeryne’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Katrina Furr-Hoffman of Toledo, Ohio

Katrina Furr-Hoffman is a single mother struggling to raise four kids and earns just $8/hr.

“I want to work, but I believe I deserve to be paid a wage that will make me proud of the work I do and of my ability to take care of my family.”

Katrina said she could see the effects low-wages had on her community, as shops up and down the main street were struggling.

“The almost two extra dollars an hour many of us would make if the federal minimum wage were increased to $9.80/hr would go directly to those businesses,” she explained. “Families like mine would be able to better provide for ourselves and grow our local economy by spending in them.”

For Katrina, her family and her community raising the federal minimum is right thing to do.

Add your voice to Katrina’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Heath Best of Columbus, Ohio

“Three days is usually how long my pay check last,” explained Heath Best.

The single father from Columbus, Ohio works late into the night to support his son. Riding the bus to work is just another barrier to the time they get to spend together. While Heath would love to by a car to help take his son to the places the bus doesn’t, his salary of just $7.70/hr won’t allow it.

Heath works more hours than his manger or assistant manger, but it still is not enough. He says he loves his job and is happy to work hard.

Increasing the federal minimum wage is the only answer for letting Heath keep a job he loves and support his family.

Add your voice to Heath’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Dawn Morris of Canton, Ohio

Dawn Morris’s story is one every mother dreads. Having struggled to provide for herself and her three children on just the $3.75/hr she makes as a server at Red Lobster, a Bain Capital company, she couldn’t have been more proud and happy when her son Alex received a scholarship to Temple University in Pennsylvania, where in the fall of 2011 Alex went off to become an Owl.

After a successful semester, Alex and Dawn received news that the family would need to come up with an extra $5,000 for his tuition. Unable to afford it without a loan, Dawn had to watch as her son returned home to Canton, OH.

Dawn explained that seeing her smart and hardworking son loose his chance at a college education because his family simply could not afford it was devastating. Without the additional $5,000 they could not even get his transcript released to start at another collage.

Dawn said she welcome any suggestions to get her son back in school. She acknowledged that while a raise in the federal minimum wage wouldn’t erase their struggles it would help prevent other families from enduring what her and Alex had to.

Add your voice to Dawn’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Chennille Coleman of Cleveland, Ohio

Chennille Coleman of Cleveland, Ohio has been a health care provider for almost four years and for the last two she has not received an increase in her salary.

Chennille describes herself and her fellow health care providers as the “work horses and back-bone” of the health care field. The work is physically, mentally and emotionally draining, yet Chennille says she loves her job and the people she serves.

Her real concern is that while the company she works for makes at least $35 per hour for her work, direct care providers receive less than a third of that.

“Increasing the federal minimum wage could mean a raise for all low-paid workers like us,” explained Chennille. “Tough work isn’t above me, but neither should be a decent salary.”

Add your voice to Chennille’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Dominique Davis of Worthington, Ohio

Dominique Davis is suffering from the double-edged sword of a Bain Capital economy. Donimique works for Burlington Coat Factory, a Bain Capital company, earning minimum wage and only being offered an average of 15 hours per week. Annually, that adds up to just barely over $6,000 a year to pay his bills and put a roof over his head.

“I’ve been forced to share my expenses with my mom after working for Burlington Coat Factory for a year,” said Dominique. “The cost of living keeps going up but my hours keep getting cut.”

Dominique is just one of many people who are finding it difficult to survive on minimum wage. This becomes even harder for workers like Dominique when their employers reduce hours, which drastically effects people like Dominique’s ability to pay for basic needs.

Add your voice to Dominique’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Tyrone Adams of Columbus, Ohio

Tyrone Adams of Columbus, Ohio knows what it means to be piled under bills.

With an unlivable wage, even price of basic goods is tough to afford. Working in Ohio, Tyrone was able to make just $7.70 an hour in his minimum wage position which is only $0.45 cents more an hour then the national minimum.

With his bills piling up Tyrone was forced to come to the conclusion that he could no longer live on his own. He packed up his place and moved back in with his parents. Tyrone said that with such poor pay and some many bills he wasn’t able to live a good life. Now back at home, Tyrone is trying to hold on to hope that the future could hold more then a continuing struggle.

Add your voice to Tyrone’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Rachelle Alexander, 41, of Austintown, Ohio

At the age of 41, Rachelle Alexander uprooted her life in Long Island, NY to take care of her sick aunt in Austintown, OH. She left behind a full time job and cut her education short. A week-long job hunt left her only with interviews for part time minimum wage positions.

“I’m forty-one years old, I never thought I would move back home to take care of my family,” said Rachelle.

Her real fear was that without a good quality job that paid a living wage she would struggle to provide for herself, let alone her family.

“If I can’t make enough income to support myself, then I am putting my family at financial risk, “ she added. “If this vicious cycle continues many more people would end up on the streets.”

Add your voice to Rachelle’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Patrick Self, 21, of Warren, Ohio

“The cost of living is too high,” said Patrick, “Minimum wage need to match the cost of living.”

For three months, Patrick Self of Warren, Ohio worked at his local Dunkin’ Doughnuts. With dreams of saving for college, Patrick, 21, has had to remain living with his parents while thinking the promise of raise with hard work was just the ticket he needed. Dunkin Doughnuts, a Bain Capital company, promised him a raise from his minimum wage salary once he had completed his training. For Patrick, this promise never panned out. Left earning well under a living wage, he has relied on help from his parents while living at home. His dream of saving for college has  been put off while he struggles to pay for day to day expenses.

Add your voice to Matt’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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Mary Newbery, 26, of Youngstown, Ohio

“My life is constant struggle and I know I’m not alone in that statement,” said Youngstown mother, Mary Newbery.

As a single parent, Mary struggles to provide for her son on $8.70 an hour as a part time teller at a local bank. Unable to afford her bills and rent, Mary, 26, still lives with her own father. In spite of her best efforts, Mary has been unable to find full-time employment in her area. As Mary well knows, her struggle isn’t completely unique, like many young Americans she is buried under a mountain of student loans, currently in default while searches for the quality jobs she deserves.

Add your voice to Mary’s and tell Congress: It’s time to raise the minimum wage!

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