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Pembroke resident Laura Ann gets a $319 Social Security check each month, but it doesn't even begin to cover her expenses. Her 30-year-old son, Kendell, has a degree in law enforcement and could get a job in a larger city, but he refuses to leave his sick mother.

"You just don't leave the people that love you," Kendell says. "You don't do that."

The Harrison family has a car—but no money for gas. They also have a dried-up well, which has forced them to tap into the water line of a neighbor. Kendell carries buckets back and forth throughout the day. He also helps save precious pennies by being resourceful.

"I take two-ply toilet tissue, and take an empty roll, and roll it off on one to make two rolls out of the toilet tissue so it will last longer," Kendell says.

"I understand poor," Oprah says. "I grew up poor. I grew up poor with no running water. It's just shocking that in 2005 there are people that don't have running water. You're still here."
FROM: Oprah Special Report: Inside the Lives of America's Poor
Published on October 12, 2005


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