We Are One Incorporation raises awareness about prominent issues like finance and food insecurity, mental health, intimate partner violence, legal, child development disabilities, and other social and economic challenges that military families face in the hope of finding comprehensive solutions to fill existing service gaps.
Approximately 1.3 million people in the United States are tied to the military, serving as active-duty personnel in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or as Coast Guards. These people sacrifice their lives so we can eat and sleep soundly in our homes.
The path military families are on poses certain challenges for them. Many military families in Southern California are currently at a great threat from one main issue: financial hardship. These financial difficulties, mostly faced due to constant relocation and military geolocation assignments, put their stability at risk, leading to further problems like mental health issues, domestic violence, and food insecurity.
Military families serve the nation out of the love they have for their country or to make ends meet, not to become millionaires. So, as citizens of the United States, there is an urgent need we must fulfill. We must provide financial relief for military families to help them sustain their living. There is a strong need for legislative authorities and funding organizations to come forward and take action to help military families.
Financial Hardships Faced by Military Families
1. Emergency Savings
According to a Military Family Advisory Network survey, about 27.4% of active-duty members, 22.2% of retirees, and 49.2% of veterans have less than $500 in emergency savings for themselves and their families no emergency fund at all.
With the Coronavirus pandemic at hand, around 42,000 military service members have been affected as of September 16, 2020. The virus has been devastating for many military families. Many military spouses have also lost their jobs, which has negatively impacted their families’ financial well-being.
Military families often develop budgets to manage living costs but don’t have enough to cover emergencies that may arise from death in the family, loss of income, loss caused by home fires, or natural disasters. The consequences are even more significant for Single Military Parents living in high coast areas like Southern California.
We hear stories of the hardships military families face every single day. A retired Navy personnel’s spouse reported, “I only get $800 monthly to pay all bills, groceries, gas, home repair, taxes, etc. There’s nothing left over to ‘save.’” A Marine Corps spouse further detailed the financial situation by saying, “Having three kids. If they aren’t wearing the money, they are eating it.”
2. Financial Stability and Stress
In the 2018 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, which was conducted on 10,000 people, financial issues were recognized as the greatest cause of stress amongst military families. Financial hardships and the connected stresses are the second most cited difficulty that active-duty members face, right after deployment and relocation.
Financial stress is fueled by the lack of employment opportunities for military spouses. Active duty spouses have an unemployment rate of 24%, which is significantly higher than the national unemployment rate across the U.S. Female military spouses are also paid 25% lesser than civilians in similar jobs. This discrimination is also an added source of stress for military families who rely on both partners to earn good enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The U.S. military provides a Basic Housing Allowance, but it’s not enough to offset other essential needs costs for most families living in Southern California. Some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and military family relief agencies provide grants but mostly in loans that service members have to repay later. Most military families may not be able to repay for a while, which further complicates their hardships.
Donate Now to We Are One! Incorporation, CA.
We Are One Incorporation, CA, recognizes the need to bring about an urgent change in military families’ lives. We pledge to take immediate action to reduce the negative impacts of the Coronavirus as well. We plan to provide financial relief for military families in Southern California as part of our holiday military assistance program campaign for November and December.
We are collecting monetary donations to ease military families’ financial burdens residing in Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and Orange County to restore their sense of normalcy.
In Los Angeles County, a family of 8 making $42,380 a year falls under the extremely low-income group. The median family income is considered to be around $69,300. The median income in Orange County is $92,700, and a single person earning under $38,300 falls into the very low-income group. As of 2018, the poverty threshold in San Diego County was less than $12,784 for a single person and $25,701 for a family of 4. Most military families fall under the low-income group and are unable to make ends meet.
We Are One! aims to help fill the resource gap by raising $6,000 to provide free emergency financial assistance of up to $500 to every qualified military service member and their family during the holiday season. We will make sure that every donated dollar counts.
Please visit our website to learn more about our campaign and make a donation today! If you wish to volunteer, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via email or phone, as mentioned on our website.
Take an oath today to help military families who go through so much in their lives to keep America safe and sound. Play your part in providing urgent financial relief for military families, so they never miss a chance to lead a healthy life because of a lack of funds ever again.