PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– For Lorraine Shuller of North Philadelphia, finding work has become a regular chore.

“After a while you just get tired of putting in that application, and not being able to put in what they want.”

With rising unemployment rates, this mother of five has struggled to obtain minimum wage, placing her among the 27-percent of Philadelphians living below the poverty line. It’s a number that has risen four percent in the last 10 years, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report, released today.

“These statistics are just statistics, but on the family level, it’s a tragedy,” said Philabundance Executive Director Bill Clark.

Not only does he see the reality of these figures, he understands how they effect hunger in Philadelphia. He says the recession has left more Philadelphians in a position similar to Lorraine’s.

“Even though they lost their jobs one year ago, they are just now being driven below the poverty line. They are coming to food cupboards for help.”

As a resident in the first congressional district, which includes parts of north, west and south Philadelphia, as well as Chester, Lorraine’s area is ranked the fourth hungriest in the country. But, local food banks and odd jobs have helped provide food for her family.

Today, she’s hoping to do even more. She’s enrolled in free GED classes through Project H.O.M.E., despite the fact that jobs may still be hard to find.

‘I don’t know what I’m going to do, but for right now I can only live one day at a time. For now, I’ll give it all I got.”


3616 South Galloway Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148-5402
(215) 339-0900

Project H.O.M.E.
1515 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, Pa. 19130

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 665-250

Reported by Nicole Brewer, CBS 3

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