By Sheldon Danziger, Ann Chih Lin
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Additional resources for Coping With Poverty: The Social Contexts of Neighborhood, Work, and Family in the African-American Community
Looking forever! I got to get away from here before I go crazy or something happens to my boys. I’m sick of the water, I’m sick of the drugs, I’m sick Between a Rock and a Hard Place 31 of living here. This is insane! Too much stuff is happening all the time, something is always going on. Theoretically, Rajah’s income and housing subsidy would permit her to leave Meadow View. But if she succeeds, she will most likely relocate to another overwhelmingly poor, black suburb. Her subsidy was once a ticket into a safer, more economically viable suburb in the area.
Their and their partners’ sense that they are failed providers leads them to avoid their children out of embarrassment, and their partners to deny access in response. In some cases, the fathers admit, losing access to their children can prod them to work harder to provide support. But when fathers cannot find work or earn enough to provide support, their children end up with neither financial nor emotional nurturing from their fathers. PRWORA made no attempt to address the structural and individual reasons behind fathers’ inability to pay support.
Until she finished school and found a job, Donnie selflessly contributed his unpaid labor to the family and Wanda’s dreams. Now and then, Wanda gave him money, but he did not receive regular pay. Without his help, her recovery would have been difficult; her schooling would have been impossible. His child care and household work allowed Wanda to recover fully, reach a goal sparked by her illness, and obtain a job. Most families will respond supportively to each other in times of crisis. In this sense, Wanda and her family are not unique.