August 8th, 2009
11:45 AM ET
12 years ago

King: Community safety net helps keep hope alive

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/06/king.sotu.eugene/art.sotu.bonneau.cnn.jpg caption="Julie Bonneau, an unemployed single mother, says a big support group helps her stay positive."] Editor's note: On CNN's "State of the Union," host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country.

EUGENE, Oregon (CNN) - Julie Bonneau knew it was coming.

"There were five of us, including the owners. I did the books ... and I could see it was getting tight, money was. They just weren't making the money."

It was just before Christmas.

They let me go, and they knew I was going to sink," the 42-year-old single mother recalled. "Two weeks later, I lost my apartment. No money coming in, no money to pay rent."

For a couple of weeks, she lived in her van - until it broke down. Now, she crashes on friends' couches, and her three children sleep at her ex-husband's apartment.

"I'm grateful because he was there to pick up the ball when I just couldn't do it anymore," Bonneau said.

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Filed under: State of the Union
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