40 percent of Routt County families living below self-sufficiency standard | SteamboatToday.com
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40 percent of Routt County families living below self-sufficiency standard

About Routt to Work:

Last Tuesday’s Routt to Work “Talk it Up” event welcomed members of various social services and non-profit community organizations to discuss efforts related to poverty in Routt County, including strategies for increasing achievement and stability in the workplace.

Formerly called the Routt County Bridges Initiative, Routt to Work remains an initiative to increase economic stability of families by offering personalized classes to about a dozen local residents each year.

The “Talk it Up” seminar was designed to bring community partners on board to support families in needs and is the first of three phases of Routt to Work.

“Step it Up” will have 10 to 12 individuals or families participating in a six week class.

And during the “Move it Up” phase, participants will implement the strategies they’ve learned to improve their own lives.





Yampa Valley Data Partners Executive Director Keith Kramer conducts a presentation on income in Routt County Tuesday at Colorado Mountain College. Kramer’s presentation on self-sufficiency standards, poverty and the local economy was part of a day-long ‘Talk it Up’ seminar for Routt to Work.
John F. Russell

— Families in Routt County need an income of about three times the federal poverty level to make ends meet with a “bare bones” budget, according to data presented last week by Yampa Valley Data Partners.

Executive Director Keith Kramer said Tuesday that such a budget includes no recreation, no extracurriculars for children, no restaurant visits and not even the occasional stop at a coffee shop.

About Routt to Work:

Last Tuesday’s Routt to Work “Talk it Up” event welcomed members of various social services and non-profit community organizations to discuss efforts related to poverty in Routt County, including strategies for increasing achievement and stability in the workplace.



Formerly called the Routt County Bridges Initiative, Routt to Work remains an initiative to increase economic stability of families by offering personalized classes to about a dozen local residents each year.

The “Talk it Up” seminar was designed to bring community partners on board to support families in needs and is the first of three phases of Routt to Work.



“Step it Up” will have 10 to 12 individuals or families participating in a six week class.

And during the “Move it Up” phase, participants will implement the strategies they’ve learned to improve their own lives.

His presentation on self-sufficiency standards, poverty and the local economy was part of an all-day “Talk it Up” seminar for Routt to Work, an initiative that helps struggling but motivated individuals and families in Routt County improve their economic mobility.

According to Kramer’s presentation, 60 percent of Routt County families are living above the self-sufficiency standard, while 40 percent are living at or below it.

The standard for 2011 was a single adult making $11.16 an hour, an adult with a preschooler making $25.36 and hour or two adults with an infant and a preschooler making $18.66 each. Inflation since 2011 should be taken into account when considering the numbers, Kramer said.

According to data from the Routt County Human Services Department and the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 5,718 family households — those with two or more people with or without children — living in Routt County.

Of those households, those making roughly between $50,000 and $74,999 are living at the self sufficiently standard, while those making below $49,999 are living below the standard.

Routt to Work targets motivated families making below the standard, but also above $24,999, as those making below that amount qualify for various forms of public assistance.

Other interesting points from Kramer’s presentation involved projection for the future population of Routt County.

Colorado Department of Local Affairs projections expect the county’s population to grow 42 percent over the next 15 years, from about 24,500 now to nearly 35,000 in 2030.

The projects also say that the county’s 0 to 5 population will explode over that time, increasing 70 percent from 2015 to 2030.

“I don’t know exactly why we are projected to grow 70 percent, but it’s a striking figure,” Kramer said. “If we think we have childcare challenges right now, they are not going away.”

The growth means nearly 2,600 children five and under would be living in the county in 2030, compared to about 1,500 now.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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