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In 2005, Detroit earned the dubious distinction of being America's poorest big city. One in three people live below the poverty line, and with the rapid decline of the auto industry, the unemployment rate has reached 15 percent.

When Oprah sent Anderson to Detroit on assignment, he says he saw the failures of the city all around—in abandoned buildings and long unemployment lines. Even beneath the busy highways, there were hidden signs of decline.

Communities of homeless people sleep underneath the highways every night. Anderson spoke to one woman who had been living there for two years. Her two children, who live in Detroit, didn't want her to live on the streets, but she insisted on staying right where she is.

"My family does not like for me to live like this," she says. "But you know what? I don't want to ruin my kids' lives because my life is ruined."
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FROM: Oprah Special Report: Inside the Lives of America's Poor
Published on October 12, 2005

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