Reuters Boston Photographer Brian Snyder spent a very long and claustrophobic day in the tiny dark hotel suite where a homeless nurse, Tarya Seagraves-Quee, and three of her four children have been living in Massachusetts for nearly two months. A record number of families are now being put up in motels due to high unemployment and the rising number of homes going into foreclosure, costing taxpayers $2 million per month but providing a lifeline for desperate families. Seagraves-Quee has found refuge in a motel after losing her job in Georgia more than a year ago and going without health-care for about 10 months. She suffers from multiple sclerosis, Aspergers syndrome, anemia and lupus, and now is scared she may have cancer. Two of her children, aged 16 and 6, are autistic. After losing her job, and facing repeated physical abuse from a boyfriend, she spent $700 – almost all her savings — on airline tickets for her family to stay with relatives in Boston. Being homeless has actually helped Seagraves-Quee get the healthcare she needs. Everyday she makes phone calls for and fills out applications for public housing in an effort to get out of the shelter/motel. Some of the towns in the area she contacted are simply not taking any new applicants; in others, the ”wait list” for housing is 10 or even 40 years.Brian’s audio slideshow on the life of the Tarya Seagraves-Quee and her family follows. It is narrated by Seagraves-Quee, who is also a gospel singer:
Dallas, Texas contract photographer Jessica Rinaldi spent three intensive, intimate and emotional days in the lives of Annette and Frederick Wilson and their family. The Wilsons have been homeless since they moved to Texas from Minnesota after losing both their jobs and then their home.They ended up with their children and extended family in a homeless shelter but through assistance from the National Urban League they have now found some employment and income, and finally an apartment to live in.Jessica’s audio slideshow, narrated by the Wilsons themselves:Annette had been a bus driver in Minneapolis and Frederick was a forklift operator, but he had already been out of work for almost year before Annette lost her job. When Annette, who is a pastor in a Pentecostal church, lost her job and could no longer make the payments on her home she prayed to God for guidance and she says that God told her to move to Texas. They arrived in Texas with only $150 and drove straight to a homeless shelter. There they learned about a local job fair where they got in contact with the National Urban League who helped them move out of the shelter and into a motel room.Frederick, who has been making small amounts of cash working a few hours a night doing jobs that employees do not want to do themselves (like mopping or climbing into dumpsters to break down and sort the trash), continues to apply for better jobs and remains hopeful.After close to three weeks in a homeless shelter and one week in a motel, with a new job for Annette and financial assistance from the Urban League, the Wilson family have now moved into a new apartment that they and their family can call home.
What’s in U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s wallet? Not much.
While testifying in front of a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill Thursday Geithner was shown a $50 Billion Zimbabwean bank note (rendered worthless by Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation) by U.S. Representative John Culberson (R- TX) and asked if he had ever seen one himself. Geithner immediately pulled a piece of Zimbabwean currency out of his own pocket and showed it off to the committee. At the next break in the hearing I approached Geithner and asked how he happened to have a piece of foreign currency in his pocket. His response was “I often have some foreign currency in my wallet. Want to see?” He pulled a very thin and mostly empty wallet from his pocket.