Generations of GM Workers Reach End of Line

Recently, Collins repurchased a home her parents bought for her when she was just beginning to work as a real estate agent.

"In 1988 at $35,000, we got a heck of a deal. The next year we sold it, I think, for $50,500. In '09, I just repurchased the property for $21,000," she said. "It's very easy to pick up a $20,000 house right now. You can pay less for a house than you pay for a car."

Collins said the hardest part for her is walking into a foreclosed home and seeing signs of the children that used to live there.

"I go in and show these foreclosed properties and I walk in the pink bedroom with the Hannah Montana border or an obvious boy's bedroom and their toys are still there and we all have to realize there were kids in that house, that one day they just had to move. Maybe they didn't get to tell their friends down the road goodbye or know why they were moving, or maybe they didn't even know and they were just taken out in the middle of the night. That's a part of this whole process that is maybe being forgotten," she said.

Losing Plant Takes Toll on Families

The loss of the Moraine plant has also been hard on families. Malone took his buyout before the Moraine plant closed, and his teenage son and daughter, Jeremy and Courtney, now have a very hard life lesson to deal with.

"With GM being out, my dad can't get any money, so we can't do the things we usually do," said Jeremy, 16.

Only teens, they're now saddled with a bleak future. Mike Malone had hoped to get Jeremy a job at the plant when he turned 18. Now they are working at getting him into college.

"You can't pick up a job in a factory anymore. You have to have a college education to really survive. You can't work at fast food, you can't pay your bills working at Taco Bell," Malone said.

Even with college now in the picture and his father's optimism, Jeremy's pain at watching his father lose his job and his town crumble around him is raw.

"I really didn't know what to think at first, you know, I didn't think it would affect me, but turns out it did. A lot of my friends can't go to school anymore because their parents can't pay for it," he said. "I never expected much from life, which makes it easier to deal with the hard times. That way, if you expect something great and you don't get it, you're not sad about it. But I'm hoping for a pretty good future."

'Little Detroit' Workers Optimistic, but Point Fingers at Detroit

Next to a rusted, weed-chocked rail yard and a vast empty parking lot, the Moraine GM plant squats, a hollow shell casting a shadow across a town once known as "Little Detroit." A brighter future is all that can be hoped for as the former workers, and town, get back on their feet.

"I stress every day about our bills," said Stevie Lewis, who now goes to school to become a nurse. Her husband Jason is thinking about going to school for welding, along with former co-worker Chad Lloyd.

"I stress but I try to put on a good face for the family and the kids. I realize I've got to move on, I know my goals and what my aims are, I've got to achieve," Lloyd said.

Yet, their anger at the downfall of General Motors lingers, pointed squarely at Detroit.

"We were definitely sold down the river. It's Detroit, the main guys. The guys in the suits, they got so greedy and made their money, made their money, and forgot about us people," Lloyd said.

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