After the birth of her first son, the economy tanked and Kelly Kinley, 38, found herself without a job and relying on her husband’s income as an automobile fabrication worker. To boost the household finances, Kelly started picking up aluminum cans for recycling when she would take her son on daily strolls. Her hobby expanded into searching for metal and scrap wood from dumpsters at construction sites. Recycling has become a way of life for her. “Finding things that we need that we can use is better than going to the store and buying it,” she says. But over the past few years, this material has gotten tougher for Kelly to find because builders and other businesses have started recycling their own metals.

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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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