“When the State of Washington stepped up and started paying hazard pay of between $2.50 and $3 an hour during the pandemic — by directing federal dollars to those of us on the front lines of health care — it made a huge difference. With these increased wages, I was able to save up enough for a small apartment in a low-income building and move out of my mom’s house. My kids may not have their own rooms, but having a home of our own means the world to us.

The increased pay literally changed my life. And I’m one of many caregivers who feel this way.”

Read more from SEIU 775 member and in-home caregiver Lauren Evans at the Columbian.