Axel Coletti, a 24-year-old from Peru, has worked as a waiter and bartender, but is currently unemployed. Having recently graduated from college with a degree in forensic psychology, he is trying to find a job as a social worker but says employers don’t call him back. Axel lives with his mother in the low-income housing project where he grew up. He said many of his childhood friends got involved in gangs, “Mostly Crips.” He was tempted to join, “but I knew that nothing good would come from it.” On the whole, he says violence in the neighborhood has gone down since the 1990s, but he has noticed a recent spike in shootings. He says crime and poverty in the South Bronx are linked because of a lack of education. “There are bad influences, there are weapons, there are drugs, says Coletti. “That’s the unfortunate reality in poor neighborhoods in the United States. There are mixtures of these bad factors.”

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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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