(Photo Above: After losing her job of many years, Kerry worked part-time as a waitress, earning just $377 per month and relying on food stamps. She now has a higher-paying career with a construction company.)

It’s Getting Harder for Families to Climb Out of Poverty

A year ago, the oil and gas facility where Kerry had worked for 13 years shut its doors.

“That hit me hard,” says the 50-year-old mother of four kids. “I had a heck of a time with depression.” She applied for several positions, but due to the economic downturn in Wyoming’s energy industry, a lot of other people were looking for work, too.

“For me, the low point was when I had to shut off my bank auto payments because my severance had dried up. I just cried my eyes out. Everything was falling through. It was all just beating me down.”

“I can’t walk away. I’m not giving up.”

The pandemic’s economic impacts have pushed single mothers like Kerry into unstable situations. Often, single moms who have reached this deep and devastating level of poverty don’t feel like there’s anywhere to turn.

At Climb, Kerry found the support she needed to get back on her feet and into the workforce. She especially benefited from individual sessions with Climb’s licensed therapist to address the challenges she faces balancing work and parenting her youngest son, who has ADHD.

Kerry’s job placement is with the construction company Lewis & Lewis, Inc. in Rock Springs, where she now drives a large dump truck and is eligible for high-paying overtime jobs making as much as $31 an hour.

“It’s been a hard year,” says Kerry. “There were days when I wanted to give up. But I have a family to feed. I can’t walk away. I’m not giving up.”