Grayson County family struggling living on minimum wage

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Across the country calls for an increase in the minimum wage are growing. President Obama joined activists Monday in Milwaukee asking congress to give workers the raise they deserve.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, minimum wage in Texas and Oklahoma is $7.25. One Denison family says that is just not enough to live.

Joy and Chris Turner say it is a daily battle to put food on the table for their family of four. That is why, Tuesday they asked Four Rivers Outreach for help. While Chris is looking for work, Joy is supporting the entire family with a job that pays minimum wage.

"We have a very hard time paying the rent, keeping gas in the car, keeping our laundry done, insurance for the vehicle, food in the house," Joy said.

"It's endless," Chris said.

For every 80 hours of work, Joy says she brings home about $450 dollars. That is around $900 dollars a month. The Turner's say if it were not for non-profits like Four Rivers they would probably be out on the streets.

"We have been in the shelter before and the Salvation Army before, you know, because of minimum wage. Because of not having enough income in the house to keep us up on our feet," Joy said.

"Minimum wage, not as a political thing, but just as a reality check does not met the criteria to be able to make a living wage," Horn said.

Executive Director Arthur Horn says he knows it is hard even for a single person to live off $7.25 an hour, but also understands an increase in wages could mean closing the doors to Four Rivers.

"It would make it very difficult on us if we had to pay 12-13 dollars an hour for our employees," Horn said.

Horn says though he does not have a solution when it comes to minimum wage he believes more focus on education could help cut down on the number of struggling families.

"What we need is maybe not raising the minimum wage, but raising the education job skill level of those clients, or those people live in our county so that they can contribute themselves more to an employer," Horn said.

The Turner's agree and say education would help in the long run, but right now they need an immediate solution.

"I'm hoping they'll raise the minimum wage enough to where people like us wouldn't have to struggle so hard everyday," Chris said.

According to Map the Meal Cap more than 76,000 people in Texoma are struggling to put food on the table, about 22,000 of those live in Grayson County.

If you would like to help struggling families in your community visit the websites below.


Four Rivers Outreach

Grayson County Shelter

Salvation Army

Grayson County United Way


Families Feeding Families

Bryan County United Way


Salvation Army

United Way of South Central Oklahoma


Fannin County Community Ministries


New Hope Center