When Sonoma County Health Department decided to conduct a survey of the health and well-being of farmworkers in their local community, a number of critical issues were uncovered. From the survey, Sonoma County Health Department was able to determine that an average farmworker makes $20,000 per year.
Due to a lack of affordable housing options, the farmworkers spend between 30%-54% of earnings on housing. With a large piece of the budget spent on housing, this means that other basic needs such as food and healthcare are not being met. The high cost of living in return leads to overcrowded housing, which studies have found has negative effects on mental health, ability to cope with stress, interactions between children and parents, social relationships, and sleep of children.
Sonoma County Health Department used LiveStories and HealthData+ to present the data in its right context and create an engaging and insightful story that is being used to advocate for policy changes at both the state and state level around affordable housing, childcare, and access to healthcare.
These farmworkers are long-standing members of our community. Their families live here and their children are students in our local schools and represent our future workforce. In order to ensure the County’s continued success, we must ensure their success moving forward.
— Brian Vaughn, Director of Health Policy, Planning and Evaluation Division, DHS.
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