Shriver Report: Portraits of women's lives on the brink

  • Allie Winans, sitting amidst new bills she collected from the mailbox, consoles her daughter Aubrey, 10, who breaks down after hearing that her grandparents do not want to see them. Life is stressful for the mother of two daughters who both have many different medical conditions and due to the healthcare costs the family is in terrible debt.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Julie Kass tries on outfits at WWEE’s Dress for Success closet of donated items. In addition to having volunteer stylists to advise people on proper clothes for the work place, WWEE’S programs also provide pre-employment assistance and skills necessary to empower its participants in the workplace.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Caitlin Bell, along with daughters Zoey and Kessler McCarver on their way to the Chambliss Center for Children, Aug. 21, 2013, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Nikki Brown, with her children Kingston and Kristian , eat dinner on Wednesday evenings at the church where her father is pastor, Aug. 21, 2013 in Chattanoog, Tenn.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Nikki Brown and daughter Kristian, 4-years-old, share a laugh while sitting in the church sanctuary before services begin, Aug. 21, 2013.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Dolliethea Sandridge drops off her son Josiah at the Chambliss Center for Children, Aug. 22, 2013 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Britani Hood working in the cafeteria of the Elementary School in Chattanooga, Tenn., Aug. 22, 2013.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Jessica McGowan with sons Keylan, age 2, and Jacob, age 5, in front of the house she currently shares with her mother. Jessica is moving to another house in a subsidized housing project, to move back in with her children’s father (pictured on the porch).
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Late night at Chamblis Center for Children as the kids prepare their sleeping cots for either late-night pick up or overnight stays at the center, Aug. 22, 2013 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Staff employee MarQuita Jennings with children at the Chambliss Center for Children, Aug. 23, 2013 in Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Sabrina Jenkins talks with co-workers at the Charleston County Housing & Redevelopment Authority (CCHD) in Charleston, S.C. She had been off two weeks for therapy to correct a pinched nerve that was causing paralysis in her left leg and left hand.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Kristeen Rogers, 23, a single mother of two girls, works multiple jobs to pay the bills, put food on the table and get her girls into daycare. Toward the end of her waitressing shift her boyfriend Benjamin Magrehbi, 18, came to say hello, July 14, 2013 in Clermont, Fla.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Kristeen Rogers, 23, on the way out of the grocery store while her two daughters splash in puddles, July 14, 2013 in Clermont, Fla.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Kristeen Rodgers reads a book to her girls Jada, 2, left, and Lexi, 4, right, as she tucks them, July 14, 2013 in Clermont, Fla. Afterwards she sang them each a song of their choice, helped them say their prayers and kissed them goodnight.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Aubrey Winans swims in a river near Missoula, Mont. The family is struggling to survive as they deal with souring medical bills for their daughters who have a history of medical issues regarding their hearing, heart, kidneys, and more recently vision.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Madie and Aubrey Winans pretend they are superheroes after their swim in a river near Missoula, Mont.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Allie Winans gets a prescription for her daughter Aubrey at one of the many doctors she must see every week in Missoula, Mont.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Kristy Richardson, an Air Force veteran in western Pennsylvania is trying to fit into civilian life and care for her two sons, Elijah, 6, and Kristian, 2. Kristy does a quick grocery shop with her boys since she says there is close to nothing in her refrigerator.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Air Force veteran Kristy Richardson and her husband Shawn Richardson with their two boys at their home. Kristy spends many hours on a bus to and from work at to the Veterans Hospital where she is treated for post traumatic stress syndrome.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Air Force veteran Kristy Richardson with her husband Shawn and their two boys at their home in western Pennsylvania.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Binita Pradham “Bini” is a single mother, working long hours to run her food business and raise her four-year-old son Ayush.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Pradham was married for many years to an abusive husband, and when things became dangerous was forced to flee in the middle of the night with her child to a women’s shelter. She and Ayush found a one-bedroom apartment with no furniture and slept on the floor for months.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Pradham works long hours to run her food business and raise Ayush. Through the help of the business ‘incubator program’ at San Francisco’s La Cocina, Binita began rebuilding her life using her culinary degree to make and sell her native Nepalese food.
  • Portrait of Life on the Brink for The Shriver Report. Carmen Rios-Ramirez works as a ‘campanera’ helping to coach Latina women through labor and delivery. Her job entails long hours, often working with high-risk cases. Here she is coaching Karina Castaneda and Ricardo Acosta during labor and helping with their newborn son.

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One out of every three women in America either lives in poverty or on the brink of poverty. These women come from all over the country, from all walks of life. Those who are not already in poverty live in deep financial insecurity; one minor accident away from losing everything.

The Shriver Report aims to shine a light on that financial insecurity, and provide answers for how poor women can be lifted up. In coordination with the release, the Shriver Report produced a gallery of women on the brink, to show how they live, work, and provide for their households. Maria Shriver discussed how poverty shapes the lives of countless women and children today. 

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