Saturday, October 6, 2012

What happened to the American Dream? New faces of poverty...

Really proud of colleague and friend John Sharify for his sobering work to show the new faces of poverty in the Pacific Northwest. His new beat at KING 5 News is reporting on poverty. Kudos to KING 5 News and John for telling these important stories. Here is his first installment:


Posted on October 4, 2012 at 6:44 PM
It’s easy to pick out those who’ve fallen and can’t get up, those visible to us, visible unless we choose to look the other way.

We met Jaydon Langston at a Tent City in Tukwila. Jaydon is homeless and desperate for work. He has experience working as a welder.

 “I’m still looking for the American Dream,” Jaydon said.

For many that dream has turned into a nightmare – a nightmare that won’t go away. You go to bed, it’s there. You wake up, it’s there. Even for those who did everything right.

“It’s stressful,” said Derrick Davis, a war veteran who lost his job as a medical office manager in July.  He’d been working at that job 14 months.

“Well somebody’s got to like me out there,” he tells his wife Kathy, who pulls in $12 an hour as a medical coder.

“Well he’s trying. It would be different if he was home and feeling sorry for himself,” said Kathy.

He’s trying alright. Derrick Davis has sent out over a hundred resumes from his make-shift office, Cafe Vita.  So far, no nibbles. So he’ll send out a hundred more resumes and keep going.

“What choice do I have?”  he said.

What choice do you have when you’ve gone through all of your savings, you’re down to your last $3,000 from your 401K, and you have no job. Derek’s choice was clear.

“I never thought I’d be here,” he said.

 By “here,” he means the Northwest Harvest Food bank in Seattle. As Derrick goes through the food line, he will express his gratitude.

“Thank you for being here,” he said.

It’s just like him to do that. What he will keep to himself, today at least, is that he was a regular volunteer at food banks years ago, helping those in need.”

“Now it’s my turn,” Derrick said.

The tables have turned for so many Americans - too many.

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