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90.3 WBHM Birmingham--What are the essentials of life? Food, water, and shelter. And to get those you have to have some kind of paying work or be enrolled in a government assistance program. But for the working poor (many of whom don't qualify for government assistance) even the basics can be too expensive. They often cost more for working poor than for middle class people. We'll explore this today (8/27) at noon on WBHM's On The Line: The Price of Poverty.

Join the conversation by calling 1-800-444-9246 during the program or send your comments/questions to news@wbhm.org, WBHM 90.3 (Facebook), or @WBHM903 (Twitter). Use the hashtag #PovertyAL.

Dr. Mark LaGory is an urban sociologist and human ecologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research focuses on the consequences of residential environments and social capital for individual and community well-being. He teaches courses on societal development and urbanization, sociological theory, religion, homelessness and urban sociology. LaGory is chairman of the UAB Department of Sociology and Social Work. He also is a senior research scientist with the UAB Center for Aging and a senior scientist with the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health. He has co-authored six books, including his latest, Unhealthy Cities: Race, Class and Place in America, which is due in September. LaGory earned his doctorate from the University of Cincinnati in 1975. He has been a member of the UAB faculty since 1980. He also serves as a member of the clergy staff at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

Kristina Scott is executive director of the Alabama Poverty Project. Before joining APP, Scott served as the Managing Attorney for External Affairs at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. Her accomplishments there included partnering with children's health professionals and housing advocates to fight childhood lead poisoning. Scott's efforts resulted in the nation's first criminal charges brought against property owners for exposing children to dangerous levels of lead. In addition, she launched the Freedom of Information Unit to improve public access to government records and spearheaded a multi-agency effort to expand elder abuse prosecutions that resulted in a 100 percent increase in cases filed. Scott earned her bachelor's degree in history from the University of Florida and her juris doctor with distinction from Emory University. She is a member of the California, Georgia and New York Bars, and serves on the board of directors of Catalyst for Birmingham and the Alabama Moving Picture Association.

More | Price of Poverty: Food Deserts

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~ August 27, 2010