Deep poverty appears to be accelerating in Delaware and Camden Counties, as the poorest of the poor scramble for rent, heat, and food.
In the city of Chester, Donald Grover, 47, and his wife, Melissa Zirilli, 43, can’t do their jobs – he because the home-remodeling firm he works for cut his time from 60 hours a week to nearly nothing, she because debilitating seizures keep her from being a nurse’s aide.
In the city of Camden, Mark Woodall, 49, once a construction worker and a trained cook, now makes $10 an hour in a soup kitchen as he and his out-of-work fiancee are forced to live on a street he says is thronged with armed teenagers “without morals.”
“Lack of work is really, really hurting us,” said Zirilli, who lives with her husband and three children on about $6,000 a year.
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