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Since last Thursday, the House of Mercy has been busier than usual. The part shelter/part church/part donations center is among the places people affected by the Merrimack Valley gas explosions can go for help.

Their building, in an industrial corner of Lawrence, is a cramped space nearly floor-to-ceiling with diapers, bottled water and canned food.

Mabel Valenzuela, who works at House of Mercy, walks through a tight hallway, surveying the inventory.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

It’s been ten years since the Great Recession reared its ugly head, lurching the country into a state of economic crisis. 

This hour, we look back and ask: What effect did the downturn have on the American public? And how did it come to reshape perceptions of the so-called ‘American dream’?

We check in with a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center. We also sit down with experts in the fields of economics and sociology. And we want to hear from you.

Whether you’re an immigrant or a native-born citizen, what do the words American dream mean to you? Is the answer to that question more or less clear now than it was a decade ago? 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Puerto Rican government has acknowledged that nearly 3,000 people died after Hurricane Maria hit the island last year. At first, it said that only 64 people perished as a result of the storm.

Dennis Carr / Flickr

Each year, millions of Americans are evicted from their homes.

This hour we talk with Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City started a national conversation about America’s eviction crisis.

A 2-year-old girl living in a rental home in New Haven, Connecticut, tested positive for lead in her blood. The levels were nine times what the federal government says will cause irreversible development problems.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

You only have to ask Ramón Luis Morales once to know that the trauma of Hurricane Maria is still fresh.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The state of Connecticut has set aside $1.5 million to meet the needs of Puerto Rican evacuees and the Connecticut municipalities that took them in for the current fiscal year.

Bob Adelman / Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline

This Independence Day, Connecticut residents will flock to the shoreline, raising umbrellas and spreading towels along the state's beaches.

Yet, behind this sunny imagery hides a somber history -- a story of coastal ownership and exclusivity.

This hour, University of Virginia professor and Free the Beaches author Andrew Kahrl joins us. We reflect on the impact of Connecticut’s private and restricted beaches and learn about a 20th-century crusade to unlock the state’s coast. 

Nine months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, there are an estimated 300 families still living in hotels in Massachusetts with FEMA and the state footing the bill.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Ben Carson, the secretary of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development was in Connecticut Monday to visit the home of a family dealing with a crumbling foundation in Willington.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Apartment residents in a section of Hartford’s North End got some good news Thursday regarding their poor living conditions. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development said it would terminate a New York landlord’s Section 8 contract to provide subsidized housing to the tenants of the Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments.

Bob Adelman / Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline

This Memorial Day weekend, Connecticut residents will flock to the shoreline, raising umbrellas and spreading towels along the state's beaches.

Yet, behind this sunny imagery hides a somber history -- a story of coastal ownership and exclusivity.

This hour, University of Virginia professor and Free the Beaches author Andrew Kahrl joins us. We reflect on the impact of Connecticut’s private and restricted beaches and learn about a 20th-century crusade to unlock the state’s coast. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

An estimated 13,000 Puerto Ricans came to Connecticut after Hurricane Maria, according to The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.

The Connecticut House of Representatives has approved a $12 annual surcharge on the insurance policies of every residential homeowner in the state. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 97 to 42 during a rare weekend session on Saturday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will keep paying for temporary housing until the end of June for hurricane evacuees from Puerto Rico. But it says it's the last extension it will offer. 

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