By Mackenzie Rigg September 2, 2018
Each night, Elizabeth Yates helps her 2-year-old son Tommy brush his tiny teeth, reads him his favorite books, and then tucks the strawberry blonde toddler into bed.
Many nights, Yates has to later scoop her sleeping son out of bed, put him in his carseat, and drive him to his babysitter’s home. She does this because she has to go to work.
Yates, who lives in Stamford, works the overnight shift, 11 p.m. to 11 a.m., as a master control operator at a digital media company. She spends her work hours watching multiple screens to make sure different television networks are functioning properly.
And she always works overtime, bringing her typical work week to 60 hours.
“I try to load on as much overtime just to make ends meet,” said the 45-year-old single mom, who also supplements her groceries with free fruit and vegetables from a local food pantry and a monthly food truck. “Right now we’re just eeking by on a prayer … if we lost my overtime, I’d sink.”
Yates is hardly alone. In Connecticut, 538,529 households — 40 percent — could not afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology in 2016, according to a new report released by The United Way of Connecticut.
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