Tuesday, May 17, 2016

the last book I ever read (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, excerpt eight)

from Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond:

That evening, Travis told Ned and Pam they had to leave. They checked into a cheap motel. Sitting on a scratchy, overwashed comforter on the edge of the bed, Pam breathed slowy and talked to her baby. “Hold off. Until we sign that lease, just hold off.” The baby didn’t listen. Pam’s water broke, and an older woman staying at the motel gave her, Ned, and Kristin a ride to the hospital. The baby weighed seven pounds, ten ounces. Ned thought she was big for a girl. “That’s proof that cigarette smoking doesn’t cause low birth weight.” He laughed. They stayed in the hospital for two nights, one doctor’s orders, being charged for a motel room they were using only to hold their things.

Four days after the baby came, Belt Buckle called and told Pam and Ned that their application had been approved. Pam had two evictions on her record, was a convicted felon, and received welfare. Ned had an outstanding warrant, no verifiable income, and a long record that included three evictions, felony drug convictions, and several misdemeanors like reckless driving and carrying a concealed weapon. They had five daughters. But they were white.

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