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With a weekly income of only $60, 43-year-old Linda says she is not living the life she envisioned for herself. A high school dropout and former drug addict, Linda admits to making some bad choices. "It all had to do with drugs," she says. "Mom was an alcoholic. Daddy was an alcoholic. I smoke and drank at [age] nine."

Linda has been drug-free for three years and works as a Laundromat clerk. She still expresses hope for a better future. "[I'm] just trying to raise up and do the best I can," says Linda. "I still have hope to be able to say I'm going to achieve the goals that I want. Get my GED. Get a good job. Clean up my credit. It's not too late."
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FROM: Oprah Special Report: Inside the Lives of America's Poor
Published on October 12, 2005

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