Ohio never recovered from the 2001 recession, and today 16 percent of families live below the poverty line. The state continues to lose high-paying factory jobs, and adult children and moving back in with their parents to make ends meet.
In the southeastern Appalachian part of the Ohio, 32 percent of families lived below the poverty line in 2000. And 56 percent lived with incomes less than $40,000 for a family of four.
"Middle-aged men moving in with parents, wives taking two jobs, veteran workers taking overnight shifts at half their former pay, families moving West - these are signs of the turmoil and stresses emerging in the little towns and backwoods mobile homes of southeast Ohio, where dozens of factories and several coal mines have closed over the last decade, and small businesses are giving way to big-box retailers and fast-food outlets."
Shari Joos, 45, a married mother of four boys from Wellson, Ohio, explains: "If you don't work at Wal-Mart, the only job you can get around here is in fast food."