Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Patricia Dickerson holds her baby Terry, 4, while daughters Keera, 10, left, and Koreena, 15, recline on the living room sofa, one of the remaining bits of furniture they were not forced to sell to make extra money, from their home in Visalia, California. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

The Dickerson family have macaroni and cheese for dinner. Proposed cuts in the state budget could put the family's already precarious financial health in further jeopardy.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Patricia Dickerson, right, looks through her kitchen cabinet filled with donated canned goods as her daughter Keera, 10, helps make dinner. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Patricia Dickerson worries about her family. She lost her job two years ago. Her husband earns minimum wage. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Terry Dickerson, 4, crawls down a hallway on her way to bed. She shares a bed with her mother and sister.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Terry Dickerson holds one of half a dozen cats that live with the family. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Four-year-old Terry Dickerson sleeps on the coffee table in the family's living room. Her parents had to sell most of their furniture to make ends meet. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Patricia Dickerson accepts a plate of food from neighbor Jacob Bastardo, 25. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Patricia Dickerson, left, dabs a dash of paint on her daughter Keera as the family paints their rented home in Visalia. Her husband, Mark, and daughter Koreena look on. Local leaders say they are trying to meet social service needs in the face of state cuts. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mark Dickerson plays with his daughter Keera near their home in Visalia. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Terry Dickerson, 4, plays in the front yard while sister Keera, 10, washes the walkway to their home. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Keera Dickerson, 10, paints the trim outside the family home while sister Terry, 4, plays inside. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Mark Dickerson puts up a sheet over the front windows as daughters Koreena, Terry and Keera play before bedtime.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

The Dickersons take an evening stroll after dinner.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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Poverty makes Tulare County California’s welfare capital

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Poverty makes Tulare County California’s welfare capital

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Poverty makes Tulare County California’s welfare capital

As the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown cutting billions of dollars in government services to help balance the state budget, nowhere are the effects likely to be felt more deeply than in Tulare County. It has become the Golden State’s welfare capital. Nearly a quarter of the population in this Central Valley agricultural region lives in poverty, and one in three residents receives state aid. Unemployment – among the highest in the state – remains on the rise. Local officials fear that residents already pushed into poverty might now tumble into homelessness. For Patricia Dickerson, a mother of five who has been unable to find work since losing her job two years ago, another reduction in her monthly welfare check could mean a shutoff of her electricity. Last week, she clutched a romance novel while waiting in a line at a county welfare office. At home, a stack of letters from the state has gone unread. “My fantasy,” she said, holding up the book. “I don’t like to read bad news right now.”

Times photographer Genaro Molina spent time with the Dickerson family to document their situation. Read the full story by Michael Mishak.

2 Comments

  1. April 12, 2011, 10:56 pm

    Family looks OK. House is nice enough. Lots of beer bottles on the table. Cheesy sunset ending photo to boot.

    By: JamesJam
  2. February 26, 2012, 4:53 am

    As my mother said, you can always be poor but dirty is a choice. Nice booze bottles on the table, and the smudge on the girls cheek was a nice touch. Just give them money so they can pay someone to clean.

    By: Jim

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