The jobs I work are often invisible to the public. However they are very important to families and community health and safety. I’ve worked several minimum wage jobs in the past several years, including as a driver for an auto auction and cleaning restrooms at the baseball stadium.
In each of these jobs I was paid minimum wage. I did not have guaranteed hours and worked as little as five to 30 hours per week, with no benefits. On these wages my first expense is always my transit card. Without transportation, I can’t work. I also help my 77 year-old mother and 18 year-old grandson when I can. Sometimes my mother calls asking for help to buy food and I have to say, “I can’t this week.”
Because of the low wages I live with a friend. I appreciate the support, but it’s not a situation that is always good for me. My goal is to earn enough to move out and live on my own. I want to live independently of government assistance. I am able and ready to work. I would rather work and let the assistance be there for seniors, or other people who need it more than I do.
I want to earn enough with one job to be able to have time to give back to the community. I want to be a role model for people who think they are stuck in a rut because of addiction or trouble with the law. I see people earning minimum wage who just can’t make it on their wages. Some turn to crime, to make ends meet. Increasing the minimum wage would help me and everyone in my community.