The Little Children


root - Posted on 31 December 1969

As poverty rises all over America, the children suffer. One poor families' story from PNN's Southern Ohio corespondent

by Jeff/ Southern Ohio Poverty Correspondent

Recently I met a couple who rent a small apartment above what was once a small grocery store. They live in a city of about sixteen thousand which is located in Southern Ohio. Both of these individuals grew up in poverty and that fact attributed to both of them dropping out of school.

The only source of income they have now are food stamps and meager government checks. There are very few jobs left in this part of the country. Most industrial plants which once were large employers have shutdown operations and moved to other countries where there is cheap labor. There is little chance now for these folks to gain meaningful employment.

This couple has three small boys all under the age of three years old. When I met Nate, the father, he was trying to find someone to take him to pick up a check for some work he had earlier in the week cleaning up some junk in a town an about an hour away. He had no transportation and no license since he had gotten in trouble when he was younger just trying to survive. I offered to take him but his he needed direction from his buddy who worked with him however he was no where to be found.

His buddy might have gotten into some kind of trouble again and it was unlikely he would ever see the check for the days work. He said his girlfriend was really upset. I asked why and he replied he needed the check so he could buy diapers for his boys. After a while of searching we gave up hope in trying to get his check and went back to his apartment. His girlfriend wonders where he's been and if he has any money and of course the answer is no. She doesn't know if she should believe him or not since she grew up in an environment that was very distrusting.

Meanwhile two of his sons come out by the door of the apartment. They are wearing nothing, there are no diapers for them to wear and up to now that’s really all they ever wear. They know no other life because they were born into poverty. Much of the food they eat other than formula is fast food because the stove is unreliable and doesn't work properly. Many days lunch is chicken nuggets tossed on the table from the fast food joint down the street. Nate will never stick around long to help out because of the frustration of not being able to provide.

What will the kids do? Especially young innocent kids who will know nothing but living in a tiny rundown apartment on the city’s Southside. Not even a yard for them to ever play in. What will they be like when they are sent to school and have no money for clothes.?

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