Report: 1-in-5 households can't afford basic needs

United Way is trying to help people find resources through its 211 call centers around the bay.

The report looked at ten counties, studying the bare bones cost of housing, food, shelter, transportation, child care and taxes.

"As we are working on the economic recovery in the Bay Area, we want the policy makers to know that there are already families left far behind," says Anne Wilson with United Way. "As we create pathways and new jobs for people in the Bay Area, we need them at a much higher level. It would take three minimum wage jobs to help a family with children just to live at a self sufficiency standard in the Bay Area."

The United Way encourages people to call 2-1-1 to get immediate help with things like food or utility bills. They can also link people to long-term training and education programs to help lift them out of poverty.

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