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The first step for Morgan and Alex was to find an apartment within their $400-per-month price range. The only neighborhood they could afford was in "the Bottoms." At one time, the apartment below their unit was a crack house.

On day two, Morgan and Alex set out to find their low-wage jobs. Alex found a job bussing tables and washing dishes in a downtown coffee shop, and Morgan registered with a temp agency. For his first assignment the next day he was promised at least $7 an hour—$1.85 more than minimum wage. "Not bad," Morgan said.

The next day, however, Morgan and Alex got a big wake-up call. Including his bus commute, Morgan ended up spending 11 hours a day away from home and earned only $45.26. This breaks down to just $4.20 an hour.
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FROM: Inside the Lives of People Living on Minimum Wage
Published on April 14, 2006

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