A Local Caregiver's Insight on Getting by in the Methow...
Room One: Can you tell us a little bit about what it looks like to try to make ends meet in the Methow?
From what I see among so many of my friends, its heartbreak the more invested you get. Especially if you’re in my income bracket (and there’s no way I’m going to jump to the next bracket at this point, probably ever). They work really hard and then have to pay $300 in medical insurance, and then that medical insurance only pays for half of the doctor’s visits, or a half of their huge medical bill, so they’re all in medical debt anyway.
Then they have to work even harder to pay the medical debt, to buy the medical insurance that’s giving them crummy insurance, and then they have kids and half the wages of their every shift go to the childcare! It’s mind blowing.
I don’t know what it is, but people just get hit really hard over and over and over again. Whether it’s that their partner didn’t pay a bill from the hospital a couple of years ago and it came back, or some other crazy thing like that. It's just that with most people I know, they are working constantly through this … this juggling.
There’s so much to be said for working so hard to be poor, and being burned out at both ends. What time do you have to think about greater strategy and game changing things? It's like the whole caregiving thing we've talked about, these are often people who don't have time to come together and be supported.
Room One: In the end of day, I wonder how we use events like the one on May 2nd, and let ideas that come from the people who live and work here rise to the surface.
To me, if we have these awesome ideas, it’s so heartening to see them actually be fulfilled. It’s about good ideas coming to the surface and people getting excited about it. It’s something from this place, from the heart, and so right on, that would make a difference.
The people I see that are making a difference, are the people who are making their places rentable and affordable. And that takes them making the rent less than what they could get for it. And that is a powerful move. To say, “you know what, I want to make it so you could live here. I would love to craft what I want to see in this valley.”
I don’t know how likely it would be to actually happen. I’m not saying that it’s easy, I think it's actually really hard to say, “I’ll take less.”
One of your ladies here (at Room One) has a cabin that she’s offered, she’s not asking too much rent because she knows what’s happening. And I think that’s so radical, it really warms my heart. Because its not taking everything you can get. It really is such a brave thing to do.
For some reason, that’s really brave, to not just look out for you. It’s really special.