Athens County is located in southeastern Ohio. Reportedly it was once a calm, prosperous town. They were exuberant for the local high school football teams, and were proud to be Appalachians. But many people’s lives were shattered when the coal mining industry collapsed.
It should be too harsh for children to go through such poverty and family dissolution. Regina and her four siblings were placed in temporary foster care after Child Protective Services noticed her mother’s lack of parenting. It was heart breaking that Regina’s mother also had to move around foster homes during her childhood. Regina's sister, Piper started showing the signs of an aggression disorder and insomnia after she witnessed her premature baby brother die in a hotel room without getting proper medical treatment.
A few blocks from Regina’s home, Lindsey lived in a little house with her mother. Lindsey would remember 2015 as the worst year of the life, when she lost her two sisters. Neosha died from cancer and Tess from a drug overdose. But Lindsey decided to take care of her sisters’ children: Ronald, Britney, Austin, Mark, Jessica and Carson. Lindsey said it was too much for her to find out that Carson's mother's death led to his attention deficit disorder. Too many unnecessary deaths were around the poverty. No child can afford it.
Uno Yi is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Seoul at the moment. He just came back to South Korea from the U.S., after spending ten years as a journalism student and a writer and a photographer in a few local news agencies. He is currently working on book translation to fund the next project. He appreciates the photos manifesting the rapport between the photographer and the subjects.