OACAA, in cooperation with University of Washington School of Social Work, Center for Women’s Welfare, released The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Ohio 2015 report and demonstrated the updated and expanded online calculator during a press conference on Tuesday, December 16, 2015. The report, which was released in conjunction with the Exploring Economic Security Pathways in Ohio report, measures the income households must earn to meet basic needs, build an emergency fund, and then, once self-sufficient, adds the element of asset-building.

“The Standard factors in realistic life expenses and demonstrates what self-sufficiency truly looks like in a variety of family compositions,” said Philip E. Cole, executive director of OACAA. “This year, we went two steps further to consider what happens after basic needs are met to eliminate the threats of returning to poverty.”

The updated report and calculator, which was developed by Dr. Diana M. Pearce, considers additional real-life factors in a household’s budget including transportation, taxes and tax credits, health care, and more. The online calculator is noSSS_pc_2015.02w available on OACAA’s website. Visitors are able to calculate the income necessary to meet the first, second, and third steps to achieve long-term self-sufficiency without outside assistance for their family and location.

“To end poverty, the first step is to stabilize a family by ensuring they can provide their basic needs,” said Cole. “After that, the second step is to assist people away from the slippery slope of poverty, from basic self-sufficiency to a real level of financial security.”

Read more at The Columbus Dispatch

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