The Working Poor: Maggie and Others in Austin

Dale Maharidge

in Someplace Like America

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262478
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948792 | DOI:
The Working Poor: Maggie and Others in Austin

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This chapter talks about Maggie Segura. She was struggling. Her two-year-old daughter, Mary Frances, had been born with congenital problems—a bladder inside her bladder, malformed kidneys, and other conditions. Maggie and her daughter lived in a $40,000 house that Maggie helped build through Habitat for Humanity, the program that pools construction labor among those in need of homes, sometimes supplemented by volunteer laborers. It was one of twenty-four Habitat homes on an Austin cul-de-sac. Maggie told the authors that seventeen of these roughly 1,000-square-foot tin-roofed homes were owned by single mothers. There was one lot left on this cul-de-sac, which was walking distance to her mother's house, where Maggie had grown up. The homes reminds of demonstration projects built by the U.S. government in the 1930s that have been documented in Farm Security Administration photographs—not drab public housing, but fine-looking homes that were made to last and be a community.

Keywords: Maggie Segura; Mary Frances; Habitat for Humanity; construction; labor; homes; Austin; cul-de-sac; Farm Security Administration

Chapter.  2163 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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