Obstacles and Barriers

Low-income, working parents are spending nearly 44% of their income on infant care.

Child care is one of the largest expenses for families in Montana. High quality child care not only helps to bridge the achievement gap, it is a necessary expense to ensure parental participation in the labor force. HRDC's Child Care program assists 1,760 children a month throughout our service area with Best Beginnings scholarships , allowing them more resources to provide for their families.

84,000 individuals in Montana do not have a high school degree or equivalent.

Montana drew national attention in 2010 as having one of the highest high school drop-out rates in the nation. Although we are showing positive progress in reducing the numbers of drop-outs, the years of leading the pack has left many individuals in the growing ranks of the unemployed. Earning one’s GED is the first step in breaking the poverty cycle. To learn more about how we can help you earn your GED, click here .

Across Montana, 29,500 households struggle to pay their energy bills.

Montana winters are long and bitterly cold. For many low-income households, heating their home presents a much larger problem when juggling limited income. It simply comes down to the decision of feed my family or pay my energy bill. In 2011, HRDC provided low income energy assistance benefits to 4,392 of the roughly 29,500 households across Montana. These households are considered most vulnerable and include 27% elderly, 39% disabled and 54% are households with children under the age of 5. To learn more about applying for energy assistance, click here .