"Busted" #4: When the Safety Net Doesn’t Catch You | WBEZ
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"Busted" #4: When the Safety Net Doesn't Catch You

UPDATE: OTM has received numerous inquiries from listeners who want to help Margaret Smith. If you’d like to donate, she has set up a PayPal account here. Please note that neither OTM nor WNYC is affiliated with this account. We do not control the money nor do we monitor how it is spent. Donations are considered a gift to Smith, and are not tax-deductible.

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In the fourth installment of our series "Busted: America's Poverty Myths," we examine the strengths and shortcomings of our nation's safety net. Government assistance does help lift millions out of poverty each year -- indeed, without it, poverty would be twice as high -- but those in the most dire circumstances often slip through the cracks.

With the help of Linda Tirado, author of Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America, and Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, we consider how anti-poverty programs can actually keep people poor and offer little hope for a way out.

Also, Brooke meets Margaret Smith, a Columbus woman made homeless after a violent crime derailed the life she'd carefully built with her six children. And we visit an Athens County food pantry that provides not just meals to the community, but also school supplies, clothing, furniture, job training, home repairs, disaster relief...even burial plots. 

Songs:

Invitation to a Suicide by John Zorn
Equinox by John Coltrane
Passing Time by John Renbourn
Peace Piece by Kronos Quartet

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