Community Reports


Struggling to Stay Afloat: The Real Measure of Poverty in California

Struggling to Say Afloat: The Real Cost Measure in California, reports released by United Ways of California finds that millions of California households do not earn enough income to pay for food, rent, health care -- the most basic level of economic security. Not only can't these households save for the future or afford “luxuries”, they are forced to make tradeoffs between necessities such as child care or doctor’s appointments to make ends meet. Struggling to Stay Afloat introduces the Real Cost Measure, a new tool that provides a more realistic picture of poverty than the Federal Poverty Line. The Real Cost Measure creates “basic needs” budgets for households, using actual costs for food, housing, transportation, health care, childcare, and taxes throughout California.