WHO ARE WE?
These young families, many of whom are recent immigrants, focus their life and work around their children. Fresh Ambitions residents are not highly educated, but many have overcome the language barrier and earned a high school diploma. They work overtime in service, in skilled and unskilled occupations, and spend what little they can save on their children. Multigenerational families and close ties to their culture support many families living in poverty; income is often supplemented with public assistance and Social Security. Residents spend more than one-third of their income on rent, though they can only afford to live in older row houses or multiunit buildings. They budget wisely not only to make ends meet but also to save for a trip back home.
• Resides in mostly row houses or 2–4 unit buildings; many were built before 1950, located in major urban cities.
• They predominantly rent; average gross rent is a little below the US average.
• Most households have at least one vehicle, and commuters drive alone to work. Walking to work or taking public transportation is common too.
• Nearly half of the households have children of all ages and are comprised of more single-parent than married-couple families. There are more than three persons per household; the proportion of multigenerational families is twice that of the US.
• Nearly one in four is foreign-born, supporting a large family on little income. Fresh Ambitions residents live on the edge of poverty but are an ambitious community. They will take on overtime work when they can.
• Unemployment is high for these recent immigrants.
• One in three has overcome the language barrier and earned a high school diploma.
• Price-conscious consumers, they budget for fashion, not branding. However, parents are happy to spoil their brand savvy children.
• These residents maintain close ties to their culture; they save money to visit family, but seek out discount fares over convenience.