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In Knott County, Kentucky, a staggering 42 percent of single moms that work are living at or below the federal poverty level.

Brenda, a single mom with two kids, says she was on the brink of poverty when her husband died tragically two years ago. Today, Brenda says nothing has changed, despite working two jobs and going to school.

Brenda earns $900 per month, but defines herself as the "working poor" because her income still falls below the official poverty level. "We're right above that level where you get assistance," says Brenda. "[I] don't have any savings account. I have a home but I could lose it very easily. 'Working poor' is me."

Each woman tells a different story of poverty. But they all share one common thread: Family. "I want my children to go to school and be somebody," Brenda says. She hugs her children and says, "We love each other an awful lot."
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FROM: Oprah Special Report: Inside the Lives of America's Poor
Published on October 12, 2005

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