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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 18

From: WCAI / WNAN
Series: Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands
Length: 04:34

Uninsured and Underinsured in Brewster: More than 40,000 Cape residents are without health insurance. This vulnerable class may be just one illness or injury away from not being able to afford their homes. Read the full description.

Jameswarrenphoto_small Those who serve Cape Cod's poor are the first to point out that behind the veil of the affluent summer paradise we all recognize, hides a community that continually struggles to make ends meet. This duPont-Columbia Award-winning series examines the unique factors that contribute to persistent and hidden poverty throughout the Cape and Islands region. Each story is set in one of the fifteen towns on Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

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Also in the Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands series

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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 11 (05:00)
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Meals on Wheels on the Vineyard: Much of the world knows Martha's Vineyard as a rich person's playground, but many locals are struggling to find adequate food and shelter.
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 10 (04:04)
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Stressed Out in Eastham: According to a survey conducted by Barnstable County last year, 80% of the most needy households on the Cape wrestle with stress and anxiety.
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 9 (05:03)
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The Winter Rental Shuffle in Sandwich: With off-season rental-housing prices skyrocketing, where are the working poor expected to look for shelter?
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 8 (04:52)
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Homeless in Hyannis Part 2: Shelters housed more than 500 homeless people last year. But untold others live on friends' couches, in motel rooms, and in tents in the woods.
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 7 (05:05)
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Homeless in Hyannis Part 1: Shelters housed more than 500 homeless people last year. But untold others live on friends' couches, in motel rooms, and in tents in the woods
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 6 (04:35)
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Free and reduced lunch program statistics in Dennis indicate that there may be no accurate way to measure poverty.
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 12 (05:09)
From: WCAI / WNAN

Elderly Poor in Harwich: The ever-rising costs of living means that for a growing number of seniors, retirement has not been the life of leisure they may have expected.
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 13 (05:07)
From: WCAI / WNAN

Wampanoag in Mashpee: Of the 350 Wampanoag living in Mashpee today, 90% live from paycheck to paycheck, undeniably poor.
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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 14 (04:52)
From: WCAI / WNAN

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Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands - Part 15 (04:59)
From: WCAI / WNAN

Empty Nets in Provincetown: Cape Cod, a land named for its bounty of fish, doesn't have many commercial fishermen left.

Piece Description

Those who serve Cape Cod's poor are the first to point out that behind the veil of the affluent summer paradise we all recognize, hides a community that continually struggles to make ends meet. This duPont-Columbia Award-winning series examines the unique factors that contribute to persistent and hidden poverty throughout the Cape and Islands region. Each story is set in one of the fifteen towns on Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

Transcript

While talks continue on Beacon Hill regarding how to best provide health insurance coverage to all Massachusetts state residents, the number of uninsured on Cape Cod continues to grow, putting families at risk of homelessness and substantial debt if an illness or injury strikes. Low and moderate-income families are worried about the high cost of health insurance, but in many cases feel helpless to do anything about it.

60-year-old Betsy Smith has a doctorate degree and owns her own home in Brewster, along the shore of Seymour's Pond, which is a very good thing because she spends 65% of her yearly income on health insurance.

Betsy Smith: "I went all around trying to find a way to qualify for a group insurance policy because it is so much cheaper to be employed through a group? I now have this individual policy that I am paying for by myself without any favorable rates because I ca...
Read the full transcript