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Video | FIRSTHAND: Living in Poverty



Patricia Part 1

Patricia has a stroke of good financial fortune.

Patricia Part 2

Derrick’s business gets off the ground.

Patricia Part 3

Patricia and her family are on the move.


Andino Part 1

A court hearing could put Andino back behind bars.

Andino Part 2

Andino wrestles with the pain of parenting from afar.

Andino Part 3

Andino and Angela work to reunite their family.


Melissa Part 1

Melissa imagines more for herself than a minimum wage job.

Melissa Part 2

As her relationship with her mom blossoms, Melissa considers going back to school.

Melissa Part 3

Melissa’s new clothing business could be her ticket out.


Gary Part 1

Single parenting would be easier if Gary could buy a car.

Gary Part 2

An accident threatens to throw Gary off-course.

Gary Part 3

Old friends and a new home offer hope


Dominetrius Part 1

College and an apartment have eluded Dominetrius.

Dominetrius Part 2

Dominetrius has an enlightening encounter with the police.

Dominetrius Part 3

Dominetrius leaves town.


Audra Wilson
Unbuckling the Bootstraps Narrative

Audra Wilson explodes the myth that people in poverty made personal choices that put them there, and proposes solutions that can help everyone achieve racial and economic equality.

Juan Salgado
Talent Not to Be Missed

Juan Salgado explores an often-overlooked pathway out of poverty: community colleges and their unique position to meet people where they are. He explains how these under-resourced institutions help students capitalize on their talents.

Mark Jay
Policing the Poor

Mark Jay examines how mass incarceration and police violence overwhelmingly target poor people, regardless of race. He suggests that providing resources, especially for those suffering from mental health issues, would substantially reduce those numbers.

Ebony Scott
Defund the War on Poverty

Ebony Scott explores why poverty has persisted in spite of the "War on Poverty" launched in 1964 – in Chicago and everywhere else. She explains how “strength-based” cash investments in individuals of color can lift up communities and foster loyalty to the businesses that provide employment.

Calvin Holmes
Money with Attitude

Calvin Holmes explains how the cycle of poverty can be broken with long-term investment aimed at helping families to grow wealth, and how providing “money with the right attitude” to low-income communities can help lift people out of poverty.