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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - This 24-year-old single mother has been sharing a full-sized bed with her two children for months.
They are 7 and 4 and things are getting crowded. She was prepared to sleep on the floor and let the children have the bed when the family's caseworker suggested she might be able to help.
The family lives in a sparsely furnished two-bedroom apartment. They don't even have a sofa.
The children grew out of their toddler beds, and the mom simply couldn't afford to buy anything better. Her only option was sharing.
The mother is supposed to be receiving $229 in child support but hasn't received that in more than a year, the caseworker said. The children's father works, but authorities are having a tough time collecting funds from him.
She receives about $441 in food stamps and she currently is looking for a job. She has no transportation, so her options are limited.
"She's having a pretty hard time, and she's a happy person but she seems kind of sad about everything," the caseworker said. "She doesn't like not being able to go where she needs to go and having to ask for transportation. She feels bad asking for help.
"She's trying really, really hard. She cried when I told her I was going to try to get her some help."
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