Working three jobs but still going under
Working three jobs but still going under
Lyn Grotke, 47
Fayette, Maine

A few years ago, Lyn Grotke was supporting herself and two young children. She owned a house, paid her bills on time.

But her life unraveled in February 2008, when she broke her leg. When she could return to work a year later, she had no job. She lost her home to bankruptcy and lives in a trailer while waiting to be approved for federal housing assistance. She applied more than three years ago.

Grotke, who has a master's degree in outdoor education, is scrambling to stay afloat. She works a few days a month for the city of Augusta, consults for the Muskie School of Public Service and teaches domestic violence prevention. She's also babysat, taken care of the elderly and worked for the Census.

Still, she earns only between $200 and $800 a month. Even adding in $750 in food stamps and death benefits for the children's father, "it's clearly not enough to live on. It won't meet my expenses. There's no chance." The trailer alone costs $700 a month, plus she needs $1,100 for food, insurance, gas and other expenses.

"I'm going under," she said. "I'm in a loop I can't get out of. It's very, very stressful."


Last updated September 20 2011: 9:07 AM ET
Poverty grows in Texas

Nearly one in five Texans live in poverty. Many jobs recently created under Gov. Rick Perry are minimum-wage.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.