Irma pushes Florida's poor closer to the edge of ruin

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IMMOKALEE, Fla. Millions of poor people live on the edge of ruin in Florida, and Hurricane Irma has pushed them closer to it.

In places like poverty-stricken Immokalee near the Everglades, the day-to-day struggle to survive is now an hour-to-hour fight.

Many of the poor work by the hour in restaurants, gas stations, hotels, stores and other businesses forced to close for days after Irma, depriving them of paychecks.

Others are day laborers or migrants who earn money by the pound picking produce that's sold in stores nationwide. Still others are retirees on fixed incomes or disability checks whose budgets already were tight before Irma.

The Census Bureau estimates 20.6 million people live in Florida, and nearly 16 percent of them -- about 3.3 million people -- live below the poverty line.