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Government & Politics

Head of Ohio Children's Defense Fund Discusses Report on How Underemployment Is Hurting Families

Tracy Najera
CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND
Tracy Najera says affordable housing is an important component to financial security.

A third of Ohio children are living in families where no parent has a regular, full-time job.

That’s according to a new report by the Children’s Defense Fund of Ohio. It found underemployment, meaning any job under 35 hours a week, to be a problem for the state’s children.

Tracy Nájera is executive director of the organization She says the lack of employment is having a detrimental effect on children.

“That has other ripple effects in their lives. It could result in children coming to school not well-rested, or without a full tummy, being hungry when they arrive at school. All of these different aspects of a child’s life can somehow be affected by that one particular data point.”

Nájera says one key to changing the situation may be to create more affordable housing for families in areas close to employment and amenities such as public transportation, grocery stores and schools.