Nikia Parker knows what it's like to live in poverty in rural northern Michigan.
Parker became pregnant at 19 and let go of her dream of joining the Air Force. She struggled for years as a young mother — she lived in a drafty trailer in Buckley and drove long miles to low-paying jobs. And all the time she worried about how to come up with hundreds of dollars per week to pay for day care, rent, electric and gas bills.
"I was constantly in crisis mode," Parker said. "Shut-off notices. Who do I know who has a space heater?"
Parker finally clawed her way out of poverty. She went to college, earned a nursing degree, and works as a nurse at Munson Medical Center.
But she never forgets her life back when. She's now laboring with some 20 other people, many of them veterans of poverty themselves, in a grass roots advocacy group to help the poor in the Grand Traverse region.
The group is called Progress Village.
Read more at: Traverse City Record Eagle | Progress Village | Traverse Bay PRI