Parts of the Little River community in Miami, Florida are known for frequent flooding during heavy rains, high tides and storms. And when the neighborhood floods, toilet back up and sewage can spill into yards.
That’s because much of the neighborhood uses aging septic tanks that fail when the ground water gets too high — something that’s happening more frequently as sea levels rise.
The county is aware of the flooding problem and is working to hook hundreds of low-income homeowners up to the sewer system. Local officials have taken other steps to ease flooding, like installing pumps in the nearby canal to push flood water back into Biscayne Bay, creating blue-green zones —like parks that are designed to flood so water doesn’t seep into homes. The county is also getting funding to raise houses.
Ironically, infrastructure solutions could exacerbate another problem in Little River: climate gentrification.
The red-hot real estate market is impacting Little River along with the rest of Miami. Flipping is rampant. In the past three years, around 20% of sales in Little River have been flips, compared to around 5.5% for the county, according ATTOM Data Solutions. Court documents show that investors are buying up properties, raising rents and evicting tenants who cannot pay.
Little River is a few miles inland from Biscayne Bay, so it’s a little more protected from some climate risks, like increasingly strong hurricanes and storm surges. Parts of Little River are also on slightly higher ground, and even though parts of the neighborhood flood, some areas stay dryer.
Both the high ground and the low ground are vulnerable to gentrification. The high ground because it doesn’t flood, and the low ground because it does, according to Jesse Keenan, a professor and real estate expert at Tulane University. He has a new paper out about climate gentrification in Little River.
“Where there is intermittent flooding or sewer problems that are driven by extreme precipitation, all of those impacts add costs and accelerate the fragility of the communities and the households that are already there. So when these impacts happen, they actually drive people out,” said Keenan.
This episode looks at flooding and flipping in Miami’s Little River, and how the two are connected.
Season two of How We Survive follows the money to the end of the world. In this case, South Florida. New episodes are out every Wednesday. Be sure to follow us on your favorite podcast app and tell a friend if you’re enjoying the show.
How We Survive Season 2 Episode 2 Transcript
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Amy Scott: Julie Richemond grew up in Miami. She lives outside Atlanta now, but she went back recently, stayed with her parents for an uncle’s funeral. Relatives had flown in from Boston and Georgia and everybody planned to gather after the service at the Richemond’s peach colored house.
Julie Richemond: We had three tents in the, in the yard, had tables, chairs, everything set up.
Amy Scott: The family was preparing all kinds of food, chicken, red beans and rice and salad. Julie was all dressed up, in a black pantsuit and heels. It had been raining, and the morning of the funeral?
Julie Richemond: We got everything set up, for after the funeral, for you know, people to come back. And we have sewage on the side of the house, right there in front of the house.
Amy Scott: Sewage oozing up from the ground and into the yard. Julie was mortified.
Julie Richemond: That was embarrassing. Yes. To have your family there and just see that was very embarrassing.
Amy Scott: She took off her jacket and sprang into action.
Julie Richemond: I went to try to clean it up, and my dad tried to go and take the snake, and it’s crazy. You know, we have the limo waiting for us to get in there. And then here we are. We’re dealing with this. So it was just, it was just, sick, sickening.
Amy Scott: This kind of thing happens all the time in the neighborhood. Julie’s parents live in Little River, a low-lying community named for the canal that runs a few blocks from her parents’ house. Many houses aren’t connected to the county sewer system. They use aging septic tanks, which back up when the groundwater gets too high. Something that’s been happening more and more as the sea level rises.
Julie Richemond: Oh my goodness, that area. When it rains or hurricane, you know, when hurricanes bring a lot of rain, oh my goodness, it’s terrible. We’re in 2022 and you’re still having problems in an expensive state like Miami? You still having flooding problem? You still having septic problem? It don’t make any sense to me.
Amy Scott: Little River has suffered from years of disinvestment. We’ll get more into why later. So you might think the neighborhood would be immune from the frenzy that’s been driving the red-hot Miami housing market we talked about in Episode One. Well, you’d be wrong.
Julie Richemond: They trying to buy my parents property.
Amy Scott: Investors?
Julie Richemond: Yes. They tried to convince my parents, tried to convince them to sell.
Amy Scott: Yep. Even though their street floods every time there’s a heavy rain and sewage seeps into their yard, and the toilets don’t flush, the Richemond’s neighborhood is hot.
Welcome to How We Survive, a podcast for marketplace where we’re following the money to the end of the world. I’m Amy Scott. This is Episode Two: Little River.
We went to Little River to talk to people about flooding. But we quickly learned there’s a lot more going on here. Investors are circling, buying up properties and flipping them. Longtime residents and business owners are getting pushed out. And those two things, the flooding and the flipping, they’re related. This episode is about how the very thing that makes Little River vulnerable to climate change also makes the people living there vulnerable to displacement. It’s about how climate change acts as a threat multiplier, compounding problems like poverty, fraud, and housing crisis, and it’s about solutions that could keep residents safe and keep them in their homes. This episode has some twists and turns, but stay with us, it’s all connected.
Amy Scott: So Julie, tell me about your parents.
Julie Richemond: My parents, my heart.
Amy Scott: Julie’s parents, Adrien and Madeline Richemond, are both from Haiti. They bought their modest stucco duplex in Little River in 1986 for $80,000. They have a tenant living in the other unit. Adrien is 89, and retired after decades working as a mason, a job that gave him a chronic lung disease.
Julie Richemond: Right now, he’s struggling with COPD emphysema, but by the grace of God, you know, it’s been many years since he’s been with it, but God has blessed him thus far. And I’m so grateful for that. And – stubborn, hardheaded. But I love him to death, he’s my papa.
Amy Scott: Julie’s mom Madeline is 79, also retired after many years working as a housekeeper. Julie’s worried. She says her mom has been having health issues too.
Julie Richemond: And it’s heartbreaking because she went through a lot in her life. And she’s, she’s loving. She’s kind. She’s giving.
Amy Scott: Their home in Little River has always been a place for friends and family to gather.
Julie Richemond: Early in the morning, they open the front door. My parents always – their doors always open in the morning. They always cook. Friends, families, come and visit. Hang out. That’s what they do.
Amy Scott: The Richemonds raise their kids in this house, celebrated weddings and the births of their grandchildren. My producer Caitlin and I went to visit Julie’s parents one day in June.
Amy Scott: It’s a hot day in Miami.
Caitlin Esch: It’s so impressive.
Caitlin Esch: He’si salting fish.
Amy Scott: What?
Amy Scott: Oh my gosh!
Amy Scott: There were at least a dozen huge fish spread out on the patio, drying under the hot sun.
Amy Scott: So that’s what I was smelling when I came up. Yeah, I have to ask him about this. Hello. Hi, Adrien. It’s Amy. How are you?
Amy Scott: Adrien was sitting just inside, on a plush couch watching television with Madeline.
Amy Scott: Madeline. Nice to meet you. How are you?
Amy Scott: The AC was thrumming in the background, struggling to keep the house cool. Our Creole interpreter Ralph was there too.
Amy Scott: Are you comfortable standing, Ralph?
Amy Scott: You’ll hear his voice throughout.
Ralph: I’m fine. I’m fine. Thank you.
Amy Scott: Adrien and Madeline met in Haiti.
Amy Scott: How long have you been married?
Adrien Richemond: 1961.
Adrien Richemond: Oh, a long time.
Madeline Richemond: A long, long time.
Amy Scott: 1961, wow.
Amy Scott: When we visited, we thought we were going to talk about flooding. But Adrien was upset about something else. We noticed a lot of construction on the block, houses in various stages of renovation. Adrien told me through Ralph that a group of investors was buying up practically the whole neighborhood. They had tried to convince the Richemonds to sell too.
Ralph: They’re investing in the neighborhood. They’re buying up everything.
Amy Scott: So after we left, I started digging. Adrien was right. The house right next door to the Richemond sold earlier this year for $624,000, just four years after it’s sold for 85,000. Another duplex across the street sold for $555,000 in March, almost three times what the seller paid for it just a year earlier. Both houses and several more on the block are now owned by the same investors. They go by several different names, including Miami Soar 111 Land Trust, and Miami Soar Mobile Corporation, but the same group of people is involved. For our story, we’re calling them Miami Soar. And they aren’t the only ones investing in Little River. According to the housing research firm ATTOM Data Solutions, flipping is rampant in the area. In the past three years, around 20% of sales in Adrien’s zip code have been flips, compared to around five and a half percent for the county. ATTOM defines a flip as a house or condo that’s sold at least twice in a 12-month period. This made no sense to me. Why would investors want all these properties in a place that floods all the time? Why were houses doubling and tripling their values in a matter of years? Jesse Keenan has a theory.
Jesse Keenan: Some parts of Little River are being significantly driven by speculation associated with what we think is climate gentrification.
Amy Scott: Jesse is a professor and a real estate expert from Tulane University. He’s been studying the changes happening in Little River. There are a lot of forces driving investment in the area, like it’s relatively affordable prices and its proximity to other hot neighborhoods. But Jesse says climate change is also starting to make people reconsider where they live, and move from high risk areas to lower risk areas. And he thinks that’s also bringing people and money into Little River. It’s like regular gentrification, but with a twist.
Jesse Keenan: The difference is that regular gentrification or classical model gentrification is about, really about supply and it’s usually really localized. Climate gentrification is about demand, and it’s about the change in preferences. And that’s perhaps one of the more scary aspects of it.
Amy Scott: Why scary?
Jesse Keenan: It’s scary because when you see shifts in demand and how people value real estate, it can move quite quickly and we’re not talking about hundreds of people moving into a neighborhood and leading to some cultural or economic friction, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands and even the order of millions of people over the decades, who are revaluing and reprioritizing where and how they want to live.
Amy Scott: In Miami, that means more people moving away from low lying areas on the coast and seeking higher ground. Higher ground isn’t easy to come by in Miami; the average elevation is just six feet, but parts of the city are slightly higher. Inland neighborhoods close to Little River, like Little Haiti and Liberty City were built along a limestone ridge that sits as high as 14 feet. These neighborhoods are historically where a lot of Miami’s black, brown, and immigrant residents live – by design.
Jesse Keenan: In a lot of areas of Miami Dade County, black populations, Jewish populations, were prevented – and immigrant populations – were not able to live or even go to the beaches.
Amy Scott: You’ve heard of redlining. In the 1930s, the federal government relied on color coded maps to determine where to lend and invest. Areas shaded red were considered hazardous, partly based on the mere presence of black people, Jews and immigrants. And those maps and other racist housing and economic policies locked in generations of disinvestment and segregation. Today, formerly redlined areas like Little Haiti and parts of Little River have higher rates of poverty and unemployment, making residents vulnerable to eviction and displacement.
Even though parts of Little River flood, the neighborhood is a few miles inland, making it less exposed to some climate threats, like hurricanes and storm surge. And it sits at the edge of that limestone ridge, so it has a mix of higher and lower lying areas, some flood, others don’t. Jessie says both are vulnerable to gentrification, the high ground because it doesn’t flood as much, and the low ground because it does.
Jesse Keenan: When you’re talking about an area where there is intermittent flooding, or there’s nuisance flooding, or their sewer problems that are driven by extreme precipitation, all of those impacts add costs and accelerate the fragility of the communities and the households that are already there. So when these impacts happen, they actually drive people out. And when the time comes for investors to come in, they’re ready to get out, or they’re being pushed out, because of these inordinate burdens that are placed upon them.
Amy Scott: Burdens like, when the Richemond’s septic system backs up, they have to hire someone to come clean it out. When their street floods, they can’t leave their house. It’s expensive, and it’s a pain. And for lower income families, it can often mean the difference between making ends meet and falling behind. As we said, investors have offered to buy the Richemonds out, but it turns out they’re not in a position to sell or to take advantage of rising property values.
Amy Scott: Your house is under foreclosure right now?
Adrien Richemond: Yeah, we were foreclosed. The bank already sell it. I don’t know.
Amy Scott: The Richemonds are in foreclosure because they’re still reeling from another crisis, the collapse of the subprime mortgage market more than a decade ago. What happened to the Richemonds is like a window into the American economy. It shows how crises compound and how low income homeowners and renters always pay the highest price. In 2009, the Richemond family hit some hard times. This was during the great recession, when millions of people lost their jobs. A tenant who was renting the other half of the duplex stopped paying rent. The Richemonds couldn’t make their mortgage payments and they fell behind. And eventually they filed for bankruptcy and worked out a five year payment plan with their lender. But at the end of it, they were in for a surprise.
Julie Richemond: When the bankruptcy was over. The lawyer notified us and told us, Hey, you guys have a balloon. And we’re like, what’s a balloon? Well, your parents owe $89,000. We’re like, What?
Amy Scott: A balloon payment is a large lump sum due at the end of a loan period. This was a common kind of loan in the run up to the housing crisis. Julie says her parents had no idea this was coming, and there was no way they could afford the $89,000, so their lawyer referred them to someone he said might be able to help, a man named Jason Walowitz. In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis, Jason ran a nonprofit called United Financial Counselors.
Archival: Our organization helps individuals break their dependency on debt and enrich their lives through financial independence.
Amy Scott: Here he is in a promotional video posted on YouTube:
Archival: Whether it’s regarding a mortgage modification or preventing bankruptcy…
Amy Scott: The group offered financial literacy workshops and help stopping foreclosure. The Richemonds called them up.
Julie Richemond: And when we went to go meet up with Jason, then he told us, well, you have to pay this amount of money and we have to do everything quick, quick, real fast, because we have to stop because Wells Fargo is going to take the property. So we’re like, Yes.
Amy Scott: The Richemonds were hopeful that Jason would help them sort it all out, save their home from foreclosure. That is not what happened.
Julie Richemond: Jason took a loan of $115,000 on the property and forged my parents’ name.
Amy Scott: Julie alleges that Jason intercepted the money that was supposed to pay off the original mortgage and kept it for himself.
Julie Richemond: And so my parents had to do another bankruptcy to try to save the property. And it’s been one thing after another, one thing after another.
Amy Scott: In 2019, the Richemonds sued Jason, along with United Financial Counselors and others involved in the transaction.
Julie Richemond: So we’ve been fighting, fighting, fighting.
Amy Scott: Do you feel like your parents are vulnerable because they’re elderly, and because English is not his first language?
Julie Richemond: Yes, yes, yes, definitely. Because my sister and I, we’re the one that’s been handling their finances and the paperwork and everything on the property, because my dad tried to do it on his own, and because of his language, and because they don’t, you know, they don’t read English that well, so people has been taken advantage of them.
Amy Scott: Turns out the Richemonds weren’t Jason Walowitz’s only alleged victims. According to about a dozen lawsuits and police reports, Jason stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from struggling homeowners, mostly low income or immigrant families and elderly folks. I mentioned all this to Jesse Keenan, the professor who studies climate gentrification. And I was thinking what happened to the Richemonds wasn’t all that related to climate change. But his response surprised me.
Jesse Keenan: Understand that with the money of adaptation comes crime.
Amy Scott: Just as fraudsters took advantage of the subprime mortgage crisis and its aftermath, Jesse says they’ll capitalize on climate gentrification, too. With all the flipping and real estate transactions, fraudsters can hide in the noise.
Jesse Keenan: These neighborhoods that are transitional neighborhoods like Little River, there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot of transactional activity. There’s a lot of speculation, there’s a lot of people coming in with money, right? And where there’s money, there’s criminals.
Amy Scott: We can’t ask Jason about any of the allegations against him, because he died last year of a fentanyl overdose. Now, several of his alleged victims are suing his estate to try to get back some of what they lost, including the Richemonds.
Julie Richemond: We’re in the process trying to sue his estate.
Amy Scott: But it may be too late. Their house is owned by the bank. And if the bank decides to sell, no doubt there will be investors ready to buy it. Julie says this whole ordeal has taken a huge toll on her dad.
Julie Richemond: Sometime he can’t sleep, because he’s worried about they’re gonna come and put their stuff out. They’re gonna bring the sheriff and come and put their stuff up. And it hurts me because I’m not in a position financially to save their home. So there’s nothing that I can do.
Amy Scott: For the Richemonds and millions of families like them, climate change is just the latest crisis that will stand in the way of building financial stability. Just like the 2008 recession left people vulnerable to scams, foreclosure and eviction, climate change will too. Pushing homeowners out of their homes and keeping another generation from building wealth. And when homeowners lose their homes, they often become renters. That’s after the break.
Amy Scott: A few doors down from the Richemonds, Zaida Gomez and her husband Javier rent an apartment owned by Miami Soar – remember them?
Zaida Gomez: They’re basically buying out the whole street.
Amy Scott: Zaida and Javier have lived there three years. Miami Soar bought the building they live in last year, and soon after raised the rent from 1300 a month to 1600.
Zaida Gomez: They bought out two houses next to us. They bought out the one in the corner, and they have other properties on the other side of the street by first place. So they’re buying out the whole street, which is fine, like, that’s where you want to do your business, man it’s okay. But I’ve been trying to contact them for at least a year to let them know what’s going on with that property, and they have not fixed anything.
Amy Scott: There’s a lot to fix, Zaida says. Cracks in the ceiling that finally caved in on their living room, mold in the bathroom, a leaky air conditioner. And oh yeah, the mice.
Zaida Gomez: We have a really bad mice infestation. I had to throw so much food away. I had to – I cannot have food out because the mice is literally – they have like, they come out during the day, nighttime, the middle of the day, does not matter. They’re crawling through on top of my kitchen counter and it is disgusting.
Amy Scott: I saw pictures of the drawers and the top of the microwave covered with mouse droppings. The county has sent warnings about code violations to the owners, for trash and debris in the yard, water damage, and other safety issues.
Like so many Americans, Zaida and Javier have been through a lot in the past few years. Javier is a chef and lost his job early in the pandemic. Zaida managed to hold on to her job as a medical assistant but her hours got cut. They couldn’t keep up with the rent. So last year they applied for pandemic rental assistance. The money went directly to the landlord and covered the full rent through the end of May. By then Javier had found another restaurant job and Zaida was back to nearly full time. But after a year of complaining about the conditions of the apartment and getting no results, Zaida told the property manager she wouldn’t pay the rent until the problems got fixed.
Zaida Gomez: I cannot do 1600 to a house that’s tearing apart. We didn’t pay June, July. By July twenty something we’re already having – we were served with eviction notice.
Amy Scott: In Florida, a tenant can withhold rent until certain repairs are made. But Miami Soar filed an eviction. Zaida and Javier appealed in a heartfelt letter, laying out all the problems they say they’ve been dealing with in the apartment. And then things at home got worse. In August the septic system backed up after a heavy rain. They sent me this video of the flooded bathroom, water seeping into the rest of the apartment. As I said this is common in this part of Little River and getting worse because of sea level rise. Zaida says it got so bad they couldn’t use the bathroom. They sent their 15-year-old son to live with his grandma.
Zaida Gomez: At this point, there is feces coming into the shower, I cannot flush the toilet, I cannot take a shower. We were literally harassing them, calling them every single day.
Amy Scott: You couldn’t use your bathroom, what were you doing?
Zaida Gomez: Basically, like I will hold it, and I will try to use it while I’m at work, when I go out, you know, when I go out shopping whatever.
Amy Scott: Finally, after almost a month someone came to fix the septic tank. A judge has stayed the eviction pending appeal. But when I talked to Zaida, she worried the sheriff would show up any day to put the family out.
Zaida Gomez: We are worried, to be honest with you, like I am so nervous. It’s a lot, you know, it’s a lot to think about. We’re looking, we were looking for somewhere to stay. Everything is so, is so expensive right now.
Amy Scott: We reached out to several people connected with Miami Soar. Many times.
Archival: Hi, my name is Amy Scott. I’m a reporter… Miami Soar Corporation? Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system…
Amy Scott: They never gave us an interview. But court records show a clear pattern, of a group of investors buying properties, raising rents, and evicting tenants. Others have fought back too, claiming terrible living conditions. Miami Soar also owns a pair of mobile home parks in Little River. Homeowners groups there are suing the company for raising the rent on lots while failing to address numerous complaints about the conditions, including frequent flooding and sewage backups. Again, those are problems that are only going to get worse in Little River, as the planet heats up and the water rises. The county knows this and is trying out some solutions.
Amy Scott: Where are we Christian?
Amy Scott: I’m standing with Christian Kamrath, with the Miami Dade County Office of resilience.
Christian Kamrath: So we are standing on a pedestrian bridge over the Little River, or also known as a C7 canal by our South Florida Water Management District.
Amy Scott: Little River is more charming than C7 canal.
Christian Kamrath: I think so too.
Amy Scott: Christian is helping manage a multimillion-dollar effort to help Little River adapt to climate change. We’re on a small concrete bridge just a few blocks from where the Richemonds and Zaida live. Looking out at what used to be the edge of the Everglades.
Christian Kamrath: This was basically wetlands.
Amy Scott: We’re here to look at – drumroll please – a pump!
Christian Kamrath: One of two storm water pumps in Larchmont Park.
Amy Scott: I know, not the thrilling reveal you’re expecting. Often solutions come in the form of boring old infrastructure projects, like adding more pumps, like this one, that move water from underground into the canal, creating more so called blue green areas, like parks that are designed to flood and keep water away from homes and businesses. It means elevating houses and roads, and maybe most urgently, getting rid of septic tanks and connecting homes to the county sewer system. A top priority because of frequent backups, like the Richemonds experience. And also because untreated wastewater ends up in Biscayne Bay and is a huge health and environmental hazard. That’s part of what’s been causing massive fish kills, leaving thousands of dead fish rotting in the bay and stinking up the coastline. So yeah, it’s urgent. The county has a plan to connect more than 300 houses in Little River.
Christian Kamrath: For a lot of folks, but especially folks who have limited or fixed incomes, you know, several thousand dollars out of pocket to pay for something, while they might want it, it might just not be affordable in the grand scheme of all the daily pressures that are being felt in terms of housing affordability.
Amy Scott: Christian walks around Miami imagining two feet of sea level rise wherever he goes.
Christian Kamrath: Whether I’m working or not.
Amy Scott: Because the county is planning for at least that much sea level rise by 2060, less than 40 years from now. In Little River, two feet means water will increasingly breach the canal, come up through the storm drains, and push up the groundwater beneath the porous rock. Places the flood maybe two or three days a year now could be underwater 20 or 30 days a year.
Christian Kamrath: It’s just kind of sobering to look at the areas that you know are vulnerable. And obviously we have time to adapt, but there’s a lot of work to do.
Amy Scott: In some ways, installing pumps, elevating houses, extending sewer lines, those solutions are simple. You just need a lot of money. But ironically, those improvements can speed up the other problem – gentrification. Because fixing little river will make it more attractive to people with more means.
Jesse Keenan: The resilience investments themselves may actually drive climate gentrification, because they increase the value in the amenity and the environmental performance of a particular area and that draws in new capital.
Amy Scott: Jesse tells a story about when he first started thinking about climate gentrification. Years ago, he was visiting Copenhagen, getting a tour of one of Europe’s first adaptation projects.
Jesse Keenan: And it was a working-class area that had a lot of flooding along the water. And it was beautiful what they had done. They had really fixed up the neighborhood and increased the environmental performance, really mitigated the flooding risk on some level. And it had the unintended consequences of actually attracting a whole new class of renters and homeowners. And in fact, it was beginning to drive out a lot of the people that they were seeking to initially protect.
Amy Scott: People like Adrien and Madeline and Zaida and Javier, for whom climate change is just the latest crisis. So how do you make little river more resilient to rising seas and ensure that longtime residents can afford to stay? Jesse says it comes down to better housing policy that protects low- and moderate-income renters and homeowners.
Jesse Keenan: So that residents that are there today have the opportunity to stay in their communities and continue to build their communities.
Amy Scott: Miami Dade County is trying on that front too. The mayor has proposed funding to help homeowners stay in their homes through mortgage and utility relief. There are grants to help low-income homeowners weatherize their houses and prepare for climate change. There’s help for renters too. The county has spent $100 million on emergency rent relief, and it’s committed millions more to build affordable and workforce housing. Will all this be enough to help renters and homeowners in Little River? The Richemonds are fighting to stay in their house for as long as they can. But Zaida and Javier are looking for another place to live when their lease expires. They’re tired of fighting.
Amy Scott: Next episode, grab your hiking boots and a sturdy tent, we’re headed to the top of a glacier.
Speaker 1: Well, when it’s not windy, which is rare, it can be extremely quiet, you can almost hear your own heartbeat.
Amy Scott: What that glacier has to do with Miami? That’s next time on How We Survive.
Hey, the team and I would really love to hear from you if you have questions about any of this. What’s happening in Florida, what you wonder about sea level rise. Whatever it is, send it our way. We’re gonna devote a whole episode to y’all later in the season. You can email us at email@example.com.
How We Survive is hosted by me, Amy Scott. Senior Producer Caitlin Esch produced this episode with help from our production team, Olivia Zhao, Hayley Hershman and Grace Rubin. Our editor is Jasmine Romero. Sound design by Chris Julin and audio engineering by Brian Allison. Our theme music is by Wonderly. Special thanks this week to Catherine Winter. Donna Tam is the Director of On Demand. Francesca Levy is the Executive Director. And Neil Scarborough is the General Manager of Marketplace.