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Reporter Investigates Poverty by Going into the Neighborhoods, Speaks to the People

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Most of the news stories we read or see that relate to poverty get to the issue through some other lens – crime, unemployment, housing issues.  But writer Brendan O’Brien set out to cover poverty different in an ongoing series of reports for the online Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service.

O’Brien’s series focuses on poverty as a way of life in neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s north side, and he joined Mitch Teich in the Lake Effect studio to share some of the backstory.

"The poor rely on the poor," says O'Brien. "They rely on their family members, they rely on their neighbors – it’s a sort of hidden economy that goes on.  When a car breaks down, you don’t call a tow truck, you call your best friend’s brother."

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Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, or NNS, is an online source for objective, professional multimedia reporting on issues in 18 central city Milwaukee communities.