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Even with full-time work, many American families can't make ends meet. Millions end up losing their homes and living on the street after suffering small financial setbacks. Lisa Ling went on special assignment for The Oprah Winfrey Show. She met Betty and her daughter Kelly, who had been living in a homeless shelter for the past three months.

Before moving into this California homeless shelter, they were living in their car. Betty says their lives took a turn for the worse when she fell off a bicycle and fractured her wrist. Unable to work, Betty didn't qualify for unemployment or workman's compensation benefits. Within two months of her injury, Betty and her daughter were homeless.

Living in the shelter wasn't easy. "It makes you feel like a failure," Betty says. "There's just a sense of hopelessness and helplessness."

At one point, she even considered turning Kelly over to Child Protective Services so her daughter would have a chance at a better life. But, Kelly refused to leave her mother.
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FROM: Inside the Lives of People Living on Minimum Wage
Published on April 14, 2006

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