Economic mobility for Americans at the bottom of the income scale seems to be fading. Today more than 40 percent of children born into poverty stay in poverty as adults.
Guerra reports that although Keisha Johnson has already overcome a grim childhood she keeps a positive attitude and believes she can provide a better life for her family.
As a young girl, Johnson witnessed her mother struggle with alcoholism. Johnson's mother would get so drunk that Johnson and her three siblings would sometimes have to sleep outside.
It was situations like these that led Johnson's grandparents to intervene. After moving in with her maternal grandmother, Johnson's situation started to improve.
But after a few bad choices, Johnson and her three children now rely on government and nonprofit assistance. Johnson says it is just a temporary setback.
"A lot of women in my neighborhood, they think being on Section 8 and being with Human Services, they think ‘Ok we can do this forever!’ No it’s supposed to be just a start, just a push to help you out for right now, and then you’re supposed to grow and progress on your own that’s the whole point of the program," explains Johnson. "So that’s what it is for me right now."
To hear more of Johnson's story, visit State of Opportunity.
- Jordan Medina, Michigan Radio Newsroom