Friday, September 20, 2013

Raising a family on three minimum wage jobs

Five days a week, Dejun Jackson wakes at 4:30 to get to the Chicago Chick-fil-A in time to start his shift at 5:45. He works behind the counter until 1 pm, when he walks to his second job as a cashier at Walgreens. He starts there at 1:10 or 1:15, and is on his feet until his shift ends at 9 or 9:30. He heads home, crashes, and wakes up to do it all again.

Jackson, who is 23, has a five year-old son and four-year-old daughter. The kids are asleep when he leaves in the morning and have already gone to bed by the time he gets home. The only real time he gets to spend with them is on weekends.

"Their mom is doing it all," he said. "I work to put food on the table. My money is needed, but so is my time, and all I want to be able to do is give them more time."

Between the two jobs, Jackson is working about 70 hours a week. He makes $8.75 an hour at Chick-fil-A and $10.22 at Walgreens, where he's been working for three years. He's also studying to get his bachelor's degree in criminal justice and psychology so that one day he only has to work one job, one shift.

His children's mom works at Walgreens, too, making $10 an hour. The kids are in daycare all day, which costs them $150 each month, until she gets off work at 6:30. Read more >>
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