Photo By Preston Gannaway / MPW.57

Jason Nelson, 23, and his wife Donisha Nelson, 20, moved to Marshall six months ago with their 9-month-old daughter, Dae'Jay, and Donisha's 7-year-old son, Dustin Nance. The family moved from Kansas City to get a new start not long after Jason was released from prison. Even as he strives toward a better future, Jason is burdened by his past. "I've got good experience, it's just that I'm a felon," he said. When the Nelsons' electricity was cut off a month and a half ago, Ann Rice, 42, and her daughter, Sarah Loehr, 17, neighbors in the same government-subsidized housing complex, opened their home as a refuge for the family each day. "She brought home a family of four," Ann said of her daughter who made friends with Jason, "What can I say?" In the newly crowded apartment, the two families have been creating meals from the local food pantry and from the food stamps that Jason and Donisha receive. "Miss Ann, she's a blessing in disguise, she really is. I love her like a mother, she's treating us like we're her children," said Jason, "We're one big family, for real." While Dustin attends first grade, Donisha and Jason take care of the baby and help Ann and Sarah around the house. The family has strained to get their life together, seeking help for their bills so they can keep their children.