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Pembroke's extreme poverty breeds a series of problems for the entire community. When Oprah met with the township supervisor, Larry Gibbs, he told her that unsanitary water is the most pressing issue.

"We need at least $20 million to fix the sewer system and the water system," Larry says. "The water is not clean. People come into my office every day complaining: 'This water smells. This water tastes bad. This water…we don't know what's going on with the water.'"

The problem? Pembroke doesn't have its own zip code, so very few tax dollars get funneled into the community. With no money, the town can't afford basic needs like emergency services, trash pickup, tornado warning systems and animal control. Larry says stray animals roam Pembroke in packs.
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FROM: Oprah Special Report: Inside the Lives of America's Poor
Published on October 12, 2005

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