Listen to Gary and his girlfriend Latoyia Lowe. Audio Producer: Sarah P. Reynolds

Gary Taylor, 47, plays with his kids outside their home in Fresno. More than a year ago, he lost his job at the customer service center of a food bank and had had trouble finding work since. He supports his fiancé, Latoya Lowe, and three kids, aged six, five, and three, with the six hundred dollars he gets from public assistance though he says the money does not cover all of his bills. “I’ll do any job to provide for my family,” Taylor says. “But if I don’t find anything that means I’m on the street.” However, he worries that employers will pass him over for someone younger.

 

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"Secretiveness is especially common among welfare recipients, almost all of whom have non-welfare income that they conceal from the welfare departments."

- Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work, by Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein

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