In 2022, the Family Resource Center of Fond du Lac County’s (FRC) parent education and distribution center services served 158 families corresponding to 367 children. However, in the last five years, these services have helped over 800 families and approximately 2,000 children. Among these populations served, over 90% of the families live at or below the federal poverty line, while 88% of the children live in a household with a net income of under $10,000.
To further investigate the issues faced by those vulnerable in the Fond du Lac community and understand the populations served by our services, the FRC held its first survey. The survey was held from June to August. It was filled out by 87 families including 53 single parents, corresponding to 238 children.
Among those who were surveyed, we put together some background demographic information about this group. This data is put together from the in-take process each family goes through to access our services. It is important to note that this data is from when the families first filled out their in-take form (new families 2023) or from their updated yearly in-take form (families pre-2023), which means that the background information and situation that families find themselves in may have changed during the time between filling out the forms and taking the survey. For example, a parent renewing their intake form information in January indicating that they are living independently will differ from when they fill out the survey in July indicating that they are now homeless.
Over 90% of the families polled are living at or below the federal poverty line according to the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines. single parents, corresponding to 238 children.
Among the parents who participated in the survey, 26 %, about a quarter of respondents, did not complete high school.
The potential risk families and children face associated with housing insecurity with 9% indicating that they are homeless, another 21% live with a partner (only 9% are married), and 16% live with a parent or friend.
The survey asks a series of yes or no questions along with a few open-ended questions about services in the community and family needs. The goal was to examine a few topics including childcare, healthcare, housing, transportation, and other factors potentially impacting sustainability and stability. The results of the survey will help us narrow our focus and investigation into community problems in future surveys.
Out of 87 families, 40 families and 23 single parents indicated they had trouble finding childcare, while those increased to 44 families and 26 single parents having difficulty affording childcare.
34 Families and 23 single parents indicated that access to childcare is impacting their ability to work.
Only 11% indicated having difficulties affording healthcare, which translates to 10 families, 7 single parents, and 32 children.
14 Families indicated that they were currently homeless, 13 were single parents, corresponding to 37 children living homeless.
16 Families indicated that their family was staying with a friend or a family member, 11 were single parents, corresponding to 40 children.
If respondents answered “yes” to the transportation question, they were then asked,
If respondents answered “yes” to the “Is having difficulties with transportation or no transportation impacting you and your family’s ability to work, make it to appointments, or get ahead?”
25 Families answered “Yes,” while 9 answered “No.”
15 Parents indicated that these health issues were impacting them and their family’s ability to meet basic needs.
“Transportation, I cannot walk places with a 1, 2, and 3 yr old.” – Single Mom
Fond du Lac is feeling Wisconsin’s childcare crisis, with parents struggling to find and afford childcare. An issue that is impacting parents’ ability to work and provide for their families.
Housing is among the top issues with 51% of respondents indicating that they struggle to find affordable housing. According to the survey, 44 families, 31 single parents, struggle with housing, which corresponds to 106 children.
Programs like WIC, FoodShare, and BadgerCare are being utilized by a majority of families. Based on the open-ended question, there appears to be a lapse in knowledge of the resources available to get ahead with “knowing resources” and “saving money” repeatedly listed.