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Yolanda Davis

A Complicated Life: A better future

Nov. 30, 2009 - The sound of explosives and automatic machine gun fire spilling from the TV doesn’t seem to bother a snoring two-year-old D’aizit who sleeps at one end of the couch.

But at the other end, Nicole Martin, a staff member of the Champaign County Urban and Regional Planning office’s No Limits Program, seems distracted as she attempts to get through to First Call for Help, a family service agency that acts as an information referral program.

Will Atwater/ Yolanda Davis, left, shares a light moment with her kids (from left, D’Azit, 2; Jalen, 9; Janae, 8) recently in their southwest Champaign rental home.

A Complicated Life: One woman's optimistic journey through poverty and strife

CHAMPAIGN -- Yolanda Davis is no stranger to complications; with an estimated monthly income that ranges from $600 to $800, she is among the more than 32,000 Champaign County residents who live at or below the poverty line, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in November 2009.

The report also states that poverty rates for Champaign County in 2008 rose to 18.7 percent, up from the 2007 rate of 18.2 percent. This series follows Champaign resident Yolanda Davis as she juggles three children, school and a life on less than $26 a day. Produced by University of Illinois Journalism Graduate Student Will Atwater.

Will Atwater/ Yolanda Davis, left, with her children, pose for a photo recently in their southwest Champaign rental home.

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