HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — For about a year, Allentown-area resident Brandon Kingsmore has been pushing to get higher wages for home health care workers.
“We’re trying to get home care workers more money because right now they’re only making, like $12.70,” said Kingsmore. “You’re taking care of people. Their lives are in your hands, so I think it’s time that we all get what we deserve,” said Kingsmore.
Kingsmore lives with his caregiver Lynn Weidner. The two of them have spent the past three years in the Lehigh Valley, but go back nearly 11 years to when they lived in Charlotte, North Carolina. Weidner said in other areas, workers are earning $10 an hour.
“When I moved back here, we went into the consumer directed program which means that Brandon is my employer,” said Weidner.
Through a union, Weidner said the two of them have been political activists surrounding home and community-based services, using their voices to speak for thousands of others across the country.
Both of them have been advocating with politicians, like U.S. Senator Bob Casey. Weidner and Kingsmore recently shared their message with President Biden in Scranton.
“The home care workforce is extremely sparse right now because the wages and benefits aren’t there, nobody wants to do the job,” said Weidner.
Both of them said they believe the Build Back Better Plan could be life-changing not only for them, but thousands of others across the country.
“I’m optimistic that we’ll get that passed through and even if we don’t, home care workers are here to stay, we’re not going anywhere,” said Weidner.