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Playlist: Scraping by

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/53318404@N00/116119187/">concrete cornfield</a>
Image by: concrete cornfield 

The Great Recession has exacerbated the effects of poverty. These pieces offer a glimpse into the world of those who live on the edge, surviving any way they can.


From Jesse Dukes | 06:13

In his own words: Adam Johns, who tries to make ends meet by digging for bloodworms and selling them for thirty cents each.

Jesse Dukes

Default-piece-image-2 Adam Johns is a self-styled entrepreneur. These days, that means digging for bloodworms at thirty cents a worm, or anything else to make a quick buck. Adam is frustrated by his circumstances and worried that he might not be able to dig worms anymore. Even so, he still manages to laugh at life.

Does SSI Need a Revamp?

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 05:34

During the Great Depression, the federal government established a safety net of poverty programs like SSI. But some say the government’s methodology for determining eligiblity is decades outdated, underestimating the number of people really in need.

Z_headphones-globe_small In the current economic crisis, more and more are finding it harder to cover the cost of basic needs. Some turn to government programs to fill in the financial gaps.  During the great depression, the federal government established a safety net of poverty programs. But some say, the government’s way of determining who’s in need could use another look.  Media Consortium intern Megan Martenyi went to the San Francisco Homeless Advocacy Project, her old stomping grounds, to find out more about applying for government services.

Low Income Women and Green Cleaning

From Tena Rubio | 07:32

For the past 15 years, one San Francisco Bay Area non-profit has been both empowering the lives of low-income immigrant women while advancing the cause of eco-friendly cleaning.


Many women are often the primary breadwinners of a family. It’s vital that they have a place in this new green economy.  One Bay Area non-profit shows how a business can be both eco-friendly and empower the lives many immigrant women.  And this business is no newcomer.  They’ve been doing it for the past 15-years.

Georgia Street

From World Vision Report | 09:25

Detroit eastsider Mark Covington and his neighbors are growing food and building community in the midst of poverty.

Wv_podcast_icon_sm_small If you air this piece, please include a back announce saying "This piece originally aired on the World Vision Report." or "This piece came to us from the World Vision Report."

Who's Helping the Helpers?

From Michael Falco | 06:35

A survey by the Human Services Council and Baruch College found that serious cuts in public/private funding have left human service providers across New York city on the brink.

P8190083_small A new survey by the Human Services Council and Baruch College found that nonprofits across NYC face a perfect storm of decreasing public/private funding and a surge in demand... And 2010 appears set to be even worse.  This piece was produced on behalf of the Human Services Council of New York City. The Human Services Council and Baruch College conducted a survey of more than 240 nonprofits in NYC. They found that human service providers across the city are on the brink, having seen serious cuts in public/private funding. They have been forced to make severe cutbacks to services. If you would like to conduct your own interviews or expand on the themes within this podcast, please contact Michael Falco at 212-245-0510. (This piece was produced by a progressive PR firm for nonprofits).

My Plate Full, Yours Empty

From Curie Youth Radio | 02:05

One teen's remembrance of a dinner at which his mother put her family over herself. A very personal thank you from a member of Curie Youth Radio, a writing and radio production workshop at Curie High School on Chicago's Southwest side.

Youth_radio_small Even when Abdel Mutan's family was going hungry, he didn't know it.  Here he talks to his mother, remembering an evening when Abdel's mother put her family first and herself second.

Curie Youth Radio is a writing and radio production class at Curie High School on Chicago's Southwest side.

Here, students create their own stories: fresh takes on everything from snowball fights to gang warfare. They see their stories as a way for teenagers in one Chicago high school to reach out to the rest of the world.