Lawanda Leary and her son Reginald sit on a bench at a massive housing project for low-income families. Leary, an unemployed single mom, is planning to join the military, as a way to get benefits and offer financial stability to her son, even if it means going into a war zone and spending time apart from him.

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"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 Wilson

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