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Profiles of Low-Wage America
latest story in this year-long series:
Sarah-Katherine Lewis, self-described sex worker and writer

Seattle's Low-Wage Writers
It's tough making a living as a writer. NPR's Noah Adams continues his series on low-wage jobs with a look at writers in Seattle who can only dream of quitting their day job. At left, Sarah-Katherine Lewis, self-described sex worker and writer.
Heard April 25, 2004

Jazz trio entertains shoppers at Westwood Farmer's Market

The Westwood Farmer's Market
NPR's Noah Adams wraps up his week-long series of reports on low-wage workers in Los Angeles with a visit to the Westwood Farmer's Market -- a colorful clash of produce, flowers, music and crowds.
Heard April 23, 2004

Downtown Los Angeles fashion workers

Fashion, One Piece at a Time
NPR's Noah Adams visits a downtown Los Angeles building that houses 10 stories of sewing factories, and speaks with several workers about their jobs and their lives.
Heard April 22, 2004

Santa Monica Pier sign

Working on the Beach in L.A.
Life's a beach, unless it's your job -- NPR's Noah Adams profiles the parking attendants, bike rental clerks and public bathroom cleaners who make your day at the beach a pleasure.
Heard April 21, 2004

Sorocco 'Mama' Martinez

Socorro "Momma" Martinez, Recycler
Socorro "Momma" Martinez has been in business for nine years, buying bottles and cans from as many as 200 people each day at Momma's Recycling in South-Central Los Angeles.
Heard April 20, 2004

Adam Beadel

Adam Beadel, 'Zine Writer/Barista
Twenty-one-year-old community college student Adam Beadel makes about $8 an hour as a barista in Seattle, Wash., and he also writes a self-published magazine (or 'zine) with encouragement from a street-level writing workshop.
Heard April 19, 2004

Connie Roberts

Working the Graveyard Shift Solo
Connie Roberts is the only employee on the overnight "graveyard" shift at the 24-hour Green Country Diner in Brunswick, Md. -- meaning she's cook, waitress and cashier from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Heard March 28, 2004

The 2004 St. Philip's School Kids Cafe Mardi Gras Queen, 5-year-old Richae Smith

The New Orleans Kids Cafe
Take a streetcar to the city's Desire neighborhood (yes, it does exist) where poor children have their own special Mardi Gras.
Heard Feb. 24, 2004

Home care client Max Green

Health Care for the Elderly, Part II
A profile of Minia Rivera, who cares for 82-year-old Alzheimer's patient at his home in Arizona.
Heard Feb. 4, 2004

Aide helps an elderly participant at John C. Lincoln Hospital's adult day care center play horseshoes.

Health Care for the Elderly, Part I
Caring for elderly baby boomers at an "adult day care" facility in Arizona, where the population is rapidly aging.
Heard Feb. 3, 2004

Seasonal worker Stephen Campbell plans to use his earnings to help pay for his cell phone bills and a new car.

Seasonal Workers in Rural Virginia
During the holidays, 700 seasonal hires for Plow & Hearth work jobs starting at $8 an hour, filling holiday orders to help pay the bills.
Heard Dec. 24, 2003

Child's advocate Monica Acord

The Family Refuge Center
Dedicated workers at the Family Refuge Center provide counseling, legal aid and shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Heard Nov. 28, 2003

Joanna Veres

Joanna Veres, Single Mom
The Dominican Republic native, just 19, and her young daughter make ends meet in Portland, Maine.
Heard Nov. 11, 2003

Kendra Johns and daughter

Kendra Johns, Single Mom
Two jobs, seasonal work, money's tight: raising two kids in Maine's capital city of Augusta.
Heard Oct. 13, 2003

Deb Simpson

Working at TJ's Restaurant
A profile of three women waiting the tables and washing the dishes at a popular food joint in Auburn, Maine.
Heard Sept. 26, 2003

Rafael Romero

Rafael Romero, Mushroom Picker
The 19-year-old starts his day at 5 a.m., and sends much of his paycheck home to his family in his native Mexico.
Heard Aug. 16, 2003

Marzs Mata

Marzs Mata's Long Commute
Six buses, six hours total commute time from her inner-city Detroit home to her customer service job in the suburbs.
Heard June 23, 2003

Kate McFarland

Outdoor Theatre in Xenia, Ohio
Actors perform a perennial outdoor play -- it's a professional acting credit, great fun and a chance to learn more about their craft..
Heard June 16, 2003

James Graham, a horse exercise rider from Ireland.

Keeneland Race Course
"Hot walking" and training thoroughbred horses for small paychecks in Kentucky's bluegrass heartland, Lexington.
Heard June 13, 2003

Marshall Cox

Marshall Cox, Fast Food Server
After hours, Cox is a pool shark -- and his day job at the original KFC in the Kentucky town of Corbin pays just $6.25 an hour.
Heard June 11, 2003

Sandy Hicks

Sandy Hicks, Housekeeper
Hicks has worked for 25 years as a housekeeper at the University of Tennessee -- and she now earns $8.98 an hour cleaning dorm rooms.
Heard June 9, 2003

Laressa Matthews

Laressa Matthews, Day Care 'Mom'
Matthews runs a day care facility out of her Baltimore basement, feeding, teaching and watching over kids so their moms can go to work.
Heard June 6, 2003


NPR's Noah Adams: Low-Wage America

Noah Adams
In America, it is possible to work full time but not make a living -- more than 20 million U.S. workers earn less than $9 an hour. At those wage levels, many people have trouble affording the basics -- housing, food, clothing, transportation and health care. NPR's Noah Adams travels throughout the country to profile the low-income workforce.
Noah Adams Essay: Faces on the Road
Recollections on his journey up I-75 to launch the year-long series of reports