Carly Roes’ commentary, “Food Banks, volunteering are best ways to help with poverty,” (Daily News, Sept. 13), is an interesting read, but fictional.

Roes writes, “The right thing to do is educate yourself before you fill out your ballot.” That is good advice, but unfortunately she did not follow her own advice.

The federal government provides a yearly “Income Limits” for every county in the United States. If you want to check for yourself, go to and search FY 2019 Income Limits Documentation System.

A single person whose yearly income in Latah County is $23,600 or less is considered to be living in poverty. This works out to an hourly wage of $11.35 or less. A family of four making $33,700 a year or less would be living in poverty as well.

A person making the minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) would qualify for low income housing and/or Section 8 (current wait time for Section 8 voucher is 8-16 months).

After taxes at 22 percent they will have a monthly take-home pay of $980. If they live in subsidized housing, their rent would be $294. Utilities, if fortunate, would average $100 a month; Phone, $45; Internet, $60.

This would leave $481 of disposable income that would need to cover food, laundry, medical, etc.

One major incident — whether medical, reduced work hours or missing work due to illness — would challenge their housing stability. We are seeing more and more households experiencing housing insecurity as the cost of maintaining a roof over their head and food in their belly increases.

Steve Bonnar


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