Times tough for area single-mom families - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Times tough for area single-mom families

Area nonprofits not seeing same trends as recent national report

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:46 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - Living situations could be improving for Kootenai County families, according to numbers reported by a national data collection organization.

But they're probably getting worse, based on indicators from local nonprofits and agencies.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its annual Kids Count report on Wednesday, showing that in the late 2000s, the county saw a jump in single mothers with jobs and a decrease of impoverished children.

But there isn't such a positive pattern now, said Jeff Conroy, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul.

"I haven't seen that," Conroy said.

According to the count, the number of single working mothers with young children in Kootenai County increased from 1,786 to 1,953 between 2008 and 2009.

Kids under 5 living in poverty also dropped nearly 10 percent between '07 and '08, from 2,485 to 1,717.

The data also show that children on food stamps in the county rose from 6,517 in 2008 to 8,103 in 2009.

Regional Kids Count spokespeople couldn't be reached for comment.

The foundation's data is collected from federal statistics agencies. The stats tend to be a few years old due to the time necessary to correlate the mass of data.

Many families are struggling in Kootenai County, Conroy said.

"We're seeing a huge increase in homeless families, homeless moms with children," he said.

Family homelessness rose by 73 percent from 2009 to 2010, he pointed out.

"That's the foreclosure dynamic we're getting into," he said. "They can't afford homes, and rents are going up, as well."

Many women and mothers who seek assistance are victims of domestic violence, Conroy added, circumstances he believes are spurred by the stress of failing to make ends meet.

"They've left their spouse or are getting out of a bad situation," he said. "We're seeing women who need help making rent, who need help finding housing, who need help with utility bills."

Emily Simnitt, spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, said the number of folks on food stamps statewide has increased every year since 2008.

There were 20,507 individuals on food stamps in Kootenai County at the beginning of this year, Simnitt said, adding that about half of that tends to be children.

"We know that many people who have been coming in for food stamps in the last few years have never been receiving assistance before, which is directly related to the economic downturn," she said.

There hasn't been a decrease in families applying for the Women, Infants and Children program, said Panhandle Health District spokeswoman Cynthia Taggart.

For the past few years, about 3,800 low-income families in Kootenai County have entered the program that provides food vouchers and health guidance for newborns and toddlers, she said.

"Vouchers can be $75 a month," Taggart said. "For some families, that can be a substantial amount."

The Kids Count is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children across the U.S.

In the annual report's ranking of states by children's well being, Idaho was listed 22nd overall, up from 25 in 2000.

Since Elizabeth Gonzalez and her three youngest children moved to Coeur d'Alene from Irving, Texas, this year, she said, her days have been consumed with obtaining assistance and meals from food banks.

"We're doing it little by little," said Gonzalez, adding that her mother in the area didn't have room for her and her kids, ages 2, 4 and 6.

SVDP has put them in a home until transitional housing opens up, Gonzalez added. The nonprofit has allowed her to work nights at the thrift store while she seeks therapy for mental issues.

Getting by is stressful, even now that her husband has joined them and is job hunting, she said.

"It's a lot at once, and with school coming up for the children," said Gonzalez, 37.

Still, she's optimistic.

There are more resources here to get folks on their feet than other states she has lived in, she said.

And she's just determined to provide for her children.

"We're hoping to stay here," Gonzalez said, adding that they're also counting on help from the federal Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. "We're pretty confident that with their help, that within the next four or five months, we will have our own place."

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

33 comments:

  • my own opinion posted at 3:33 pm on Tue, Aug 23, 2011.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    Check out this link about The Mary House.............Surprise! Yes it is our poster child for the welfare slackers.She is a welfare celeb


    http://cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_b9a315df-c545-5c47-822b-0564c77a7af3.html

     
  • my own opinion posted at 2:21 pm on Tue, Aug 23, 2011.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    Credit should be given to all the wonderful single dads out there. I know many and they are very devoted and much better than some of the mommies. A good parent can be both mom and dad or separate. I'm happy the judges are seeing Men as the better parent suited when mom can't or won't do it. It goes both ways. The most stable parent is best for the child.

     
  • my own opinion posted at 5:25 pm on Mon, Aug 22, 2011.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    Chouli, very good points could not have said it better! She seems so confident about "working" the system.

     
  • chouli posted at 4:10 pm on Mon, Aug 22, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1264

    and how about if the press start using the term "SINGLE PARENT"... there are MANY single fathers out there who have the same struggles as single mothers have. Let's remember the single fathers in this scenario...

     
  • chouli posted at 4:05 pm on Mon, Aug 22, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1264

    Gonzalez: why did you move here? If your " mother in the area didn't have room for her and her kids, ages 2, 4 and 6”, then why did you move here? That speaks volumes.

    “SVDP has put them in a home until transitional housing opens up”. And how long were you on the waiting list? I’m sure there are plenty of Idaho homeless and near homeless that need assistance but somehow someone moving here just this year is already getting housing assistance and in a home. Pretty remarkable in sick sort of way. I happen to know a few people still waiting…
    “And she's just determined to provide for her children.” Really?? And just how are YOU (as in YOU) providing for your children? By moving to Idaho without your husband and when all the resources are secured, having him move to Idaho and join you? Neither of you have jobs. With 3 children you both need to have jobs.
    "We're hoping to stay here," Gonzalez said, adding that they're also counting on help from the federal Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program. "We're pretty confident that with their help, that within the next four or five months, we will have our own place." Funny how you know ALL the assistance programs out there. And why will YOU be moved into your own home ahead of others who have lived in Idaho for their entire lives? What makes you to be deserving of placement into a home?
    Plz do us a favor and move on to the next state to use. WA is a sucker for assistance programs ;-) Keep heading west…

     
  • my own opinion posted at 3:45 pm on Mon, Aug 22, 2011.

    my own opinion Posts: 397

    Maybe her Benifits got cut off in all the other places she lived, so she moves around and applies in different places till they run out again? then moves to a new place?There are lots of people who do that modern day Gyipsies. I don't like paying taxes for the benifit of people who don't try. She could have stoped having children and be resonsible. I do not care how many children a couple has but when they are on the dole on my tax dollar I would gladly pay for you partner to get "fixed" and you "spayed"If it means the working class has to pay for your @$$. Get a job and a sitter and stop making excuses for yourself and playing the victim. I bet they are not married that would end her benifits and him to pay child support because those benifits she gets feeds him too bet she says she was abandon and sneeks him around and by the number of kids and different last names she circles the block in H3at for another meal ticket and us to pay child support.

     
  • aayupp posted at 9:11 am on Mon, Aug 22, 2011.

    aayupp Posts: 311

    There are more resources here to get folks on their feet than other states she has lived in, she said


    no they don't. its all about providing a business climate to create good paying jobs and out of 50 states - ideho probably hovers around the 50 spot, elizabeth. is this helpful info.

     
  • InThePines posted at 7:38 am on Sat, Aug 20, 2011.

    InThePines Posts: 146

    Mr. Myers:
    "Racism"...what on earth analysis is this? I've known many Caucasians who were on the constant dole but continued to have numberous children, take advantage of every known taxpayer-funded handout, moved here and there to get even better benefits. This has nothing to do with racism. It has all to do with most of us tiring of paying for those who are not interested in accountability and are instead, more interested in "spreading the wealth" as the socialist/Marxist people currently heading our government.
    Frank

     
  • hope4idaho posted at 9:19 pm on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    hope4idaho Posts: 28

    Wow Mr. Myers!, Many of us are angry and scared? For me personally, It' s about taking care of those that been here in YOUR own backyard instead of transplants, wether hispanic, russian, martian or what ever.
    I can see that many people are scraping by (many I know) to make ends meet and it's hard to see some one from a state that's doing better to come here and leech off YOUR state that is doing better that Idaho.

     
  • Randy Myers posted at 8:31 pm on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    Wow...the rampant racism in this thread is amazing. I see that many of you are angry and scared of Hispanics. This woman is here attempting to make a start with her husband. Let's hope she makes it. Programs are there for a reason. I pray none of you ever need them but if you do, oh my, your tones will change.

     
  • honorthewolf posted at 6:32 pm on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    honorthewolf Posts: 9

    Howie and Mikey should free up one of their personal rental properties and facilitate Mz. Gonzalez and her brood. Me thinks I smell a big fat rat: so when in doubt always follow the money - How much money is being shunted to ID from the feds for food banks, housing, utilities, food stamps, medical, dental, mental health, fresh start, etc.? What role does Howie and Mikey play in the numbers game with Federal Dollars to Coeur d'Alene? Why doesn't Howie open his Fresh Start books for public viewing since it's public funding supporting his operation? Mikey I have a question for you: I've worked in business and government long enough to know there is something called quid pro quo - what is in this homeless advocacy for you? how do you two bozos hold your head up in this town?

    And to Santa Fe Gal never apologize for speaking the truth. We've been tip toeing around plain spoken, honest dialogue for too long in this country. The deadbeats who take take take from the system and never put anything back (except having more kids) need to hear from the taxpayer who is paying their bills.

     
  • SantaFeGal posted at 1:02 pm on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    SantaFeGal Posts: 12

    Ms. Gonzalez where do you and your family go when there is no more welfare, no more WIC, no more food stamps, no more HUD, no more Medical, no more free school lunch programs - what do you do then??

    Why are you and your family living in Coeur d' Alene? It can't be for seeking a job as the lead story on this website is that Kootenai County unemployment is a 11.5%. I do not think a newcomer to the area will find a job right off the bat.

    The Spokane area would provide much more needed services than Coeur d Alene does, you would be closer to a bigger job market, public transportaion and lower housing costs. Why did you decide to come here in the first place? Seems to me this was a poor decision. There is not a big mexican community here where you could seek support. I think your husband will find job hunting very hard here.

    If the homeless and the low income families are being recuited to Coeur d' Alene on behalf of obtaining better services here then that is shamful. As quoted by others in this forum, if Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Martinson are promoting this for their personal gain or their companies financial gain then shame on you.

    Ms. Gonazalez, you need to take personal responsibility in providing for and raising your family with the money that you earn -- not the money that the taxpayers of this county are being taxed in order to provide you and your family services. There are alot of young families that have lived in this county all their lives that are stuggling and trying to make ends meet and trying not to live off the free services. These families are taking pride and have self esteem in trying to help themselves. Ms. Gonzalez looks like it is time for you to help your family on your own and not take from the people of this county. Where if any is your personal responsibility? Have you thought any about the day when the money and services have run out for you and your family. Sorry, to be so realistic - but Ms. Gonzalez the day is coming.

     
  • IdahoPotatoCake posted at 12:15 pm on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    IdahoPotatoCake Posts: 2

    Mike Kennedy is a fat idiot who has about 30 kids of his own. I think he believes that because his last name is Kennedy, he feels he's a real Camelot Kennedy. All he is is a fat blob of hot air.

    Cry me a river for this stupid garbage. Typical, I might add, kids and on welfare. How about not having kids at all. It's not a mandatory requirement that women have children. Although, the majority of them think it is!!

     
  • hope4idaho posted at 11:53 am on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    hope4idaho Posts: 28

    I totally agree with wolf and billy. I would like to add not only go back to Texas, but once you get there keep heading south.

     
  • honorthewolf posted at 10:03 am on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    honorthewolf Posts: 9

    well excuse me if I have no crocodile tears for Ms. Gonzalez and three kids from Irving, TX. (a suburb of Dallas and an area that is booming) Why did she leave TX? Texas has created 37% of jobs in this country in spite of Obamanomics. Why does she continue to have kids she can't support? Liberals like Howie Martinson and Mike Kennedy will tell you she has a "right to bear kids" but I'm with Frank-In the Pines - so my suggestion to Ms. Gonzalez and her brood - go back to Texas - stop having babies you can't support - you may have this "right" but then I have a right to say NO, NO, AND FURTHER - NO MORE welfare if you continue to procreate and expect the good citizens of Idaho and the country to pay for your poor choices and lack of responsibility. Howie and Mikey can cut an extra check out of their budgets to the state and feds. Better yet, get her a one-way bus ticket to Seattle - Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senators, Washington, want and desire diversity - let's help them out.

     
  • Mark on the Park posted at 7:35 am on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    Mark on the Park Posts: 471

    "Since Elizabeth Gonzalez and her three youngest children ..."

    I wonder how many more kids Ms. Gonzalez will be breeding now that the hubby has landed.

     
  • InThePines posted at 6:27 am on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

    InThePines Posts: 146

    This quote says it all:
    "There are more resources here to get folks on their feet than other states she has lived in, she said.
    WHEN are the Mike Kennedys of the town, along with Howie Martinson going to STOP recruiting the homeless to this area which has NO jobs and we taxpayers are getting really tired of supporting everyone down on their luck from out of STATE and out of TOWN who are coming here in droves due to our multiple resources for the homeless? What about those who have lived here and were born here?
    Frank

     
  • otr01 posted at 4:48 pm on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    otr01 Posts: 2

    My mom was single. No welfare, etc. She worked 3 jobs just to pay the bills. Never once did she ask for any handouts.

    And her remarks are a slap in the face to people that could really use the help. It seems like she's bragging about it.
    I don't care if she is married or not. If you cannot take care of your kids without help don't have any.


     
  • ancientemplar posted at 3:06 pm on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1146

    Hey Press, Is she a single mom as represented in the HEADLINE or did her HUSBAND from Texas just join her?
    You can't have it both ways.

     
  • ancientemplar posted at 2:59 pm on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1146

    unwed mothers of all racees and their children , as a group, cost the American taxpayer the most of any classification of people in America. That's a fact look it up.

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 1:52 pm on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    The Cda. Press headline is incorrect for this lady. She said her husband has since joined her here in beautiful Cda.

     
  • hope4idaho posted at 11:27 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    hope4idaho Posts: 28

    I always liked the way the media portrays single mothers as "victims" wether it would be from abuse,
    drugs, no car, no house...etc,etc,etc.

     
  • srsocal posted at 10:56 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    srsocal Posts: 1

    There are hard times for all nowadays with the economic depression, I get it.
    Twenty-four years ago I made foolish decisions at the age of 17 and ended up pregnant. There were very little resources and options as there are now.
    But despite what government resources were available; I made the decisions that led to my life's situation and it was my responsiblity to play the hand I was dealt, not the local taxpayers.
    It wasn't easy, but I did it with NO child support (not one dime...ever) and NO welfare.
    My mom had died when I was a teenager, and no sisters so I didn't have any family babsitters - I had to do the old fashioned - find- and pay for a babysitter that accomodated my work schedule.
    My point is - it IS possible to be a single mom, never succumb to welfare, and all the while end up with a law-abiding and moral young man for a son!

    The old adage....if I can do it...so can you!
    (obviously I mean the able-bodied and mind people out there).

     
  • idabilly posted at 10:26 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    idabilly Posts: 390

    Please go back to Texas.

     
  • Nutter Watch posted at 10:23 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    Nutter Watch Posts: 476

    It's always been a mystery to me why anyone with precarious finances would leave areas of benign climates further south and relocate to a region more expensive than what the prevailing wage and employment situation would warrant. Long, cold sunless winters not being conducive to those with "mental issues" as the article mentions, will not come as any surprise to locals of long standing and regular readers of these blogs, particularly those of a political nature who have seen that North Idaho offers no cure for mental issues, it only reinforces them.

     
  • ancientemplar posted at 10:02 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1146

    I wondered why Gonzales and her family moved to North Idaho.

    "Since Elizabeth Gonzalez and her three youngest children moved to Coeur d'Alene from Irving, Texas, this year, she said, her days have been consumed with obtaining assistance and meals from food banks....................................................................
    There are more resources here to get folks on their feet than other states she has lived in, she said."

    I guess she explained it.

     
  • TomKatt posted at 9:43 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    TomKatt Posts: 125

    Obviously the rounding up and removal of these alien invaders should be done by the federal government, but they will not as they want more democratic voters, so the state and county need to bring about legislation so that local law enforcement can run these parasitic meztizos out, and no, they are not "undocumented migrants" they are hostile invading aliens,

    And Americans need to boycott companies that hire the invaders instead of out-of-work Americans, I used to get my my paint from Rodda, last time I was there there was not one, but two surly non-Whites glaring at me from behind the counter, so when needed I will get paint elsewhere,

     
  • ProIdaho posted at 9:20 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    ProIdaho Posts: 251

    This is a warning to all the youth in America..........PLEEEEEEEEASE do not have kids unless you are in a stable COMMITTED relationship(preferably married) that can withstand the ups and downs of life so you do not end up in this woman's situation.

    How incredibly sad it is for these kids to have to grow up in the situation that the two adults that made them have put them in.

     
  • mister d posted at 9:12 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    There needs to be a limit on the amount of time an individual can collect welfare. Too much welfare promotes helplessness and a dependence on the government to support you without you giving anything back. I'm all for helping out those that actually need it, but the fraud is rediculous and the overseerers do little to stop it.

     
  • efromm posted at 8:31 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    efromm Posts: 659

    So let me get this straight. You move here from Texas and then you get assistance from the state? How did you get here if you had no money? So it seems that this area is going to be working class poor on food stamps and retirees. What kind of future is that? This town is getting worse and worse.

    "There were 20,507 individuals on food stamps in Kootenai County at the beginning of this year, Simnitt said, adding that about half of that tends to be children."

    That used to be the entire population around here. That number is something to be ashamed of.....

     
  • deltadawn posted at 7:07 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    deltadawn Posts: 14

    neighbor is also a convicted drug abuser

     
  • deltadawn posted at 5:52 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    deltadawn Posts: 14

    why move to california my neighbor who is 58 had 12 kids and has had a lifetime of public assistance and now is wondering where her social security is she dated a former judge from wallace he encouraged her to stay on welfare good luck with her social security she may not be eligible for any more freebies for herself and her daughts and 2 sons are all on welfare now wheres the welfare reform

     
  • idabilly posted at 5:42 am on Thu, Aug 18, 2011.

    idabilly Posts: 390

    La Familia de Gonzalez should move to California.

     
default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard

Stocks