About a half a mile off the road, Darlene Rosas sits on a grassy hill littered with broken lawnmowers, used mattresses and rusty automobiles in front of the condemned trailer where she lives alone without any running water and barely any heat. With the nearest town 40 minutes away by car, Rosas relies on neighbors for food and water when her old Chevrolet breaks down. Earlier that day, she had fallen asleep in the front seat of her car, doing crossword puzzles in the broiling sun, a better place to than being in her boarded up home. She receives a disability check of around $800 a month which she uses to support her daughter, who has kidney failure and her son who is unemployed. She says living on the reservation is a Catch 22. “If you have a job, you lose benefits. If you live on welfare, you become a victim of the system.”
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Resources"Included in this group [the underrclass] are individuals who lack training and skills and either experience long-term unemployment or are not members of the labor force, individuals who are engaged in street crime and other forms of aberrant behavior, and families that experience long-term spells of poverty and/or welfare dependency."
- The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy, by William Julius WilsonInvestigate