My guest is Lauren Sandler. Her newest book is This Is All I Got: A New Mother's Search for Home. More than forty-five million Americans attempt to survive under the poverty line, day by day. Nearly 60,000 people sleep in New York City-run shelters every night—forty percent of them children. This Is All I Got makes this issue deeply personal, vividly depicting one woman's hope and despair and her steadfast determination to improve her situation, despite the myriad setbacks she encounters.
Camila is a twenty-two-year-old new mother. She has no family to rely on, no partner, and no home. Despite her intelligence and determination, the odds are firmly stacked against her. Award-winning journalist Lauren Sandler tells the story of a year in Camila's life—from the birth of her son to his first birthday—as she navigates the labyrinth of poverty and homelessness in America. As Camila attempts to secure a college education and a safe place to raise her son, she copes with dashed dreams, failed relationships, and miles of red tape with grit, grace, and resilience.
This Is All I Got is a dramatic story of survival and powerful indictment of a broken system, but it is also a revealing and candid depiction of the relationship between an embedded reporter and her subject and the tricky boundaries to navigate when it's impossible to remain a dispassionate observer.