Working at Retirement Age (04:25)
Percy Evans and his wife Beverly struggle to pay bills. They worked at the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) until the business went under. Percy now works the night shift as a custodian at a mall; retirement is not in the near future.
Housing Difficulties (03:29)
Hilton Kennedy III and his pregnant girlfriend Diana Gonzalez pack their belongings; they will stay with friends until they can find a home. Over the past 10 years, median rent in the U.S. increased while median income decreased.
Combat 2 College (03:18)
Jose Merino meets with his guidance counselor to discuss his future education. He did two tours in Iraq and had difficulty adjusting upon his return; 37% of veterans suffer from PTSD.
Employment Struggles (04:13)
Emilia Stancati has been unsuccessful in finding a new job over the last five months; she worries about her financial future. Stancati's doctor recently took her off anti-depressants. The average social security income for women over the age of 65 is $12,520 a year.
Pregnancy Complication (03:27)
Kennedy took a day off work without pay to accompany Gonzalez to a specialist; 80% of low-wage workers do not receive a paid sick day. A fetal death could occur at any time.
Financial Budget (02:10)
Elizabeth Merino and Jose struggle with finances after their recent wedding expenses. Elizabeth budgets all expenses and determines the amount of money left for Christmas gifts.
Christmas Party (03:25)
Stancati reflects on her financial struggles while setting up for the annual party. The guests participate in a gift exchange game.
Middle Class Struggles (04:54)
The Evans family gathers for a gumbo fest; the couple receives $140 in food stamps. Percy and Beverly do not give out Christmas gifts. The family discusses the economy and gives thanks for blessings in their lives.
Rosangela's Pizza (03:56)
Stancati works one shift a week at a family owned restaurant in addition to her full time job.
Christmas Eve (01:52)
Jose works while Beverly spends the evening with Jose's extended family; Jose's mother leaves early to go to work.
Focus on Family (05:14)
Stancati spends Christmas with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. She reflects on spending time with her grandson and her motorcycle. Stancati considered the possibility of selling her motorcycle to pay bills.
Financial Sacrifices (03:02)
Percy gave up his horse because he could no longer afford to take care of him. He visits the stable where he used to board Crème.
Devastating News (03:38)
Kennedy and Gonzalez move to East Palo Alto two days after learning the twins died in utero. They will share the home with another family, paying three times the amount of rent than their previous home. See a preview of the next episode of "Hard Earned."
Credits: Dreams Deferred: Episode 4—Hard Earned (00:40)
Credits: Dreams Deferred: Episode 4—Hard Earned
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