This is what it looks like when you're part of the working poor.
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Make Room

When Henry was laid off three and a half years ago, his family was forced to leave their house.

The house they were renting had mold in the basement. Though Lisette was working two part-time jobs, they couldn't find another place to live.


GIFs via Make Room/YouTube.

They tried to access programs for people who needed help — but they didn't meet the requirements.

They searched for programs that could help but didn't qualify because they didn't have problems with substance abuse and had some income.

And the homeless shelters they looked at didn't provide for their needs because not all shelters are set up for families. Some wanted to split them up by gender.

Now, they're living in an apartment that doesn't feel like home and costs too much. More than half their income goes to rent and utilities.

Living paycheck-to-paycheck is pretty much standard operating procedure for millions of families in our country.

In fact, paying at least half of monthly income for rent is a reality for about 1 in 4 U.S. renters.

The Great Recession had a lot to do with this.

Roughly 6 million homeowners lost their homes through foreclosure since 2008, which put more pressure on the rental market. And beyond that, a lot of folks who were just getting their start in the working world (hello, 20-somethings) began their adult careers far behind where they should have been.

As of 2013, the typical renter's income had fallen by more than 10% since 2001 (after adjusting for inflation) while the median rent had increased by 5%.

And, according to Make Room, 9 million kids are on the brink of homelessness because their parents can barely afford to pay rent.

The thing is, this is not simply inevitable. It can be fixed.

That's good news for folks like Lisette and Henry.

Make Room is a nonprofit campaign for renters that is working to fix this problem by:

  • creating a network of companies, nonprofits, advocates, and policymakers to invest in affordable homes and advocate for change.
  • campaigning to change policies and increase both the affordability and development of rentals.
  • raising awareness among policymakers and the media about the economic squeeze renters face today.
  • telling the stories of people who rent and organizing forums where the conversations begin (or continue). This includes working with celebrities and songwriters who are committed to the cause and want to help spread the word.

Recently, Carly Rae Jepsen stepped up to help spread the word.

To bring in even more supporters and awareness, Make Room regularly holds concerts in homes like the Duartes'. Earlier this year, Jepsen stopped by to perform some of the biggest pop hits.

What a treat! Check out the whole concert!

Help support Make Room's efforts in 2016 for families like the Duartes and 11 million households in need.

To help Make Room do great stuff like pass initiatives in key places and increase the supply of affordable homes, check out their holiday challenge. It's a gift worth considering this holiday season.

Listen to the Duarte family's emotional story here. It might strike a chord:

Because everyone should be able to live in a safe, affordable home.

The Hill/Twitter

It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.


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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

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via ABC News

Julia Tinetti, 31, and Cassandra Madison, 32, first met in 2013 while working at The Russian Lady, a bar in New Haven, Connecticut, and the two immediately hit it off.

"We started hanging out together. We went out for drinks, dinner," Julia told "Good Morning America." "I thought she was cool. We hit it off right away," added Cassandra

The two also shared a strong physical resemblance and matching tattoos of the flag of the Dominican Republic. They had a bond that was so unique, even their coworkers thought there must be something more happening.

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