I spent a weekend visiting the home of a Southern hotel worker in California, a state where more than half of the population lives in poverty.
As a Southern woman who has lived in poverty for a decade, I was struck by how much the home was changed in just three months.
When the first of our five kids, Noah, was born, the kitchen was a different kind of kitchen.
“We had no ovens,” says the mother of two.
The kids were so hungry and dehydrated, Noah was fed only three portions of bread a day.
And then, after a month, he started having seizures.
“He had seizures, he was having convulsions, he couldn’t eat anything,” she recalls.
Noah had been brought to the hospital for six weeks.
“It was so devastating for the staff and the families,” says her husband.
They had to take him to the NICU, but the doctor there told them that they had to put Noah down.
“I was so upset, but he kept crying, and I just couldn’t stop him.
I cried for three days.”
A few days later, Noah came out of his coma.
It was hard to get a handle on the situation.
The hospital had already given Noah an emergency order, which meant he was not going to be allowed to go home.
“This is our home, and we are trying to make a life here for our kids,” says Noah’s mother.
“But if we don’t do something now, he will not come home.”
The family was desperate.
They were worried about what would happen if they didn’t do what they had been told.
The house was on lockdown, and people were watching out for each other, even when it was raining.
The mother and her husband had to wait until Noah was four weeks old to get to see their kids.
They thought Noah would be able to come home at night, but now they are waiting.
The family still has to deal with a constant stream of calls and emails from people in need of help.
I met with the mother, and she explained how the family has been on the edge for a while.
“The people in our community are really desperate.
We’ve had calls about our children going to the grocery store, we’re talking to the police.
We don’t have enough money for rent.
It’s been really hard.
I think we’re not going back.
But we can’t do anything about it.”
I spoke with two other families who are struggling with the same thing.
In California, Southern hospitality is a way of life for more than 1.2 million people.
The Southern hospitality industry has been thriving since the 1920s, and Southern hospitality companies have expanded dramatically, with a total of more than 2,000 hotels and more than 20,000 motel rooms.
Southern hospitality has grown so rapidly that many Southern workers have gone out of the country to find jobs.
Southern employment statistics show that more than two-thirds of Southern hospitality workers are white.
And yet Southern hospitality employment has declined by nearly a quarter since 2010, according to a 2016 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Southern employers are making a lot of the same mistakes that Southern employers made in the early 20th century: hiring from the South and outsourcing jobs overseas.
As one Southern hospitality company employee explained to me, “We are looking for cheap labor.
We want cheap people, cheap money.
We’re looking for people that are going to go and do what we need them to do.”
These are the same companies that were in business in the 1950s, when Southern hospitality was booming.
Southern hotel workers are often paid in dollars and cents, not pounds and hundreds.
They are mostly from immigrant families from Southern Mexico and Central America, and many of them are African American, or Hispanic, or of mixed heritage.
In the South, Southern workers are paid on a sliding scale.
Some of them work full time, and some of them have part-time jobs.
The average wage for Southern hospitality employees is about $20 an hour.
When you add in tips, tips can add up to more than $10 an hour, depending on the amount of work they do.
The pay for Southern workers is so low that it has made it difficult for them to keep up with the housing costs in many Southern cities.
The workers who work in Southern hotels face a double-whammy of high costs and low pay.
If you are working full time and have kids, you are probably struggling to pay for the rent, food, health insurance, and other costs of keeping your home.
If they’re working part time, the family is at risk of not being able to afford the rent.
The middle class Southern hospitality worker, meanwhile, is struggling to get by.
“There are times that I have to ask myself, ‘Why am I working so hard to pay rent, when I could be making more money working part- time?'” says the Southern hospitality employee.
“That’s one of