Selear Smith and her 9-year old son Shamuar live in New Orleans East, which never fully recovered after Katrina. “It’s a ghost town now,” she says. Selear is a single mom. She works part-time at Lowes. Has no health insurance. Her family was rescued on the rooftop of a hotel during Katrina. They lost their home. To make matters worse, her father died in a boating accident on father’s day last year. Her mother is depressed. Her brother is mentally retarded. Her son is bi-polar and on heavy medication. (He shut himself in the closet while we were visiting and was crying. He said he wanted to see his father, who Selear describes as a “deadbeat.”
Talking about her situation, Selear says “It feels like we are in a hole that is closing in on us.”
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Resources"What matters, then, given the current rules if the game, is what kind of opportunity the labor market offers to poor workers, and who among them is positioned to seize it."
- Chutes and Ladders: Navigating the Low-Wage Labor Market, by Katherine NewmanInvestigate