What We Care About
A place to live, affordable health care, the ability to earn a living wage and help in times of unexpected crisis. As the largest grantor focused on women’s issues in the area, our WUIP giving circle has the capacity to give at a level that makes a tangible difference and honors these objectives. We have moved the needle and the result is that the status of women and girls in Bergen County is stronger. But there is more to be done.
Did you know?
A place to live…
There remains an enormous demand for smaller, affordably priced housing in Bergen County. We have the highest foreclosure rate in the nation and the high cost of and competition for rentals makes the prevention of homelessness a constant concern.
The fair market rent for a two bedroom apartment in Bergen County is $1,450/month. In order to pay that amount, the renter needs an income of $58,000 or $27.88/hour. At the minimum wage of $8.38/hour, the renter must work 133 hours/week. The high cost of housing leaves many women and their families facing impossible choices.
Affordable health care…
We are now seeing evidence that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is benefiting Bergen County residents. A recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showed that the number of residents without health insurance dropped almost 50% in one year.
However, while access to health care has increased, there is a need to protect women’s health. Thanks to the ACA, for the first time, women, not their insurance companies, are fully in charge of their own health care. Unfortunately, some of that access may be undermined as provisions of the law are attacked.
The ability to earn a living wage…
This year, we did something different with our grant making; inviting the nonprofits serving women to tell us what they need rather than telling them what we want to fund. Almost all of the proposals address economic empowerment. The ability to earn a living wage remains a significant challenge for so many women.
Women still earn less than men for comparable work. According to the most recent studies, women earn 77 cents for every $1 a man earns. African American women and other women of color receive the least pay of all; 64 cents and 55 cents respectively. In addition, women are 62% of all minimum wage workers.
Help in times of unexpected crisis…
More women than men live below the poverty level and for female heads of households with children under 17, the number is triple that of men.
In fact, 15% of households are now considered food insecure. It’s hard to fathom but right here in Bergen County, in one of the richest areas of the country, in one of the richest countries of the world, there are children who go to bed hungry and there are parents who struggle to provide enough food for their families.