By Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer
Jessica Compton’s relatives of 4 might don't have any funds source of revenue except she donated plasma two times per week at her neighborhood donation middle in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter Brianna in Chicago usually don't have any foodstuff yet spoiled milk on weekends.
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Extra resources for 2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
But that job lasted only a few months, and now he’s gone half a year without finding another. After two months at home following the birth of baby Lauren, Susan began a frantic search for work, but it hasn’t been going well. “I’ve been looking for jobs for forever,” she says, clearly demoralized. ” Before she became pregnant with Lauren, Susan earned her GED and spent more than a year in community college, completing the remedial courses that would allow her to finally begin earning credits toward a certification in early childhood education.
How was it even possible to live without cash in modern America? What were families in $2-a-day poverty doing to survive? And were these strategies different from those poor families had been using prior to welfare reform, when AFDC still offered such families a cash cushion against extreme destitution? What was so indispensable about cash—as opposed to in-kind resources such as SNAP—for families trying to survive in twenty-first-century America? To better understand the lives being lived beneath the numbers, we needed to return to where this exploration started—to the homes of people like those Edin had met in 2010.
What the War on Poverty did not do was target the cash welfare system (by then renamed Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or AFDC) for expansion. Yet the late 1960s and early 1970s marked the greatest period of caseload growth in the program’s history. 3 million. This dramatic rise was driven in part by the efforts of the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO). A group led by welfare recipients and radical social workers, the NWRO brought poor families to welfare offices to demand aid and put pressure on program administrators to treat applicants fairly.
2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer