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Third Place
Kuni Takahashi Chicago Tribune
"Hidden Poverty in Illinois"

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The changing economy in Illinois has left tens of thousands of families confronting a daily struggle for dignity. Since 1999, all but 15 of the state's 102 counties have seen poverty rates climb, with only Lake County bucking the trend in the Chicago area. The story is about families across Illinois with incomes below the federal poverty line. Rosalie Higgins, 66, walks outside her apartment in Wheaton, IL, April 2, 2007. Higgins, who has no income aside from a monthly Social Security check of $650, barely makes it by getting food from the pantry after paying a rent which she gets discount from landlord by picking up litter around her building.


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