Pam Fessler

Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty and philanthropy.

In her reporting, Fessler covers homelessness, hunger, and the impact of the recession on the nation's less fortunate. She reports on non-profit groups, how they're trying to address poverty and other social issues, and how they've been affected by the economic downturn. Her poverty reporting was recognized by a 2011 First Place Headliner Award in the human interest category.

Previously, Fessler reported primarily on homeland security, including security at U.S. ports, airlines, and borders. She has also reported on the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, the 9/11 Commission investigation, and such issues as Social Security and election reform. Fessler was also one of NPR's White House reporters during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Before becoming a correspondent, Fessler was the acting senior editor on the Washington Desk and oversaw the network's coverage of the impeachment of President Clinton and the 1998 mid-term elections. She was NPR's chief election editor in 1996, and coordinated all network coverage of the presidential, congressional, and state elections. Prior to that role, Fessler was the deputy Washington editor and Midwest National Desk editor.

Before coming to NPR in 1993, she was a senior writer at Congressional Quarterly magazine. Fessler worked at CQ for 13 years as both a reporter and editor, covering tax, budget, and other news. She also worked as a budget specialist at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and was a reporter at The Record newspaper in Hackensack, NJ.

Fessler has a Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a bachelor's degree from Douglass College in New Jersey.

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3:35am

Mon August 17, 2015
NPR Story

After Katrina, New Orleans' Public Housing Is A Mix Of Pastel And Promises

Originally published on Tue August 18, 2015 5:08 pm

Bobbie Jennings, 69, stands outside her home in the Harmony Oaks housing development in New Orleans. Jennings says that she misses the sense of community of the Magnolia projects, the nickname of the C.J. Peete projects that Harmony Oaks replaced.
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

Hurricane Katrina caused widespread devastation and loss of life, and many of those whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged fled New Orleans.

In the months that followed, many of the city's poorest families got even more bad news: The public housing units they called home would be knocked down, even if undamaged by the storm.

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3:38pm

Thu July 23, 2015
Shots - Health News

Why Disability And Poverty Still Go Hand In Hand 25 Years After Landmark Law

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 10:28 am

After a long day, Emeka arrives home to the apartment in South Tulsa that he shares with his father.
Kenneth M. Ruggiano for NPR

If you have a disability in the U.S., you're twice as likely to be poor as someone without a disability. You're also far more likely to be unemployed. And that gap has widened in the 25 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted.

"Every man, woman and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence and freedom," President George H.W. Bush said when he signed the bill into law on July 26, 1990.

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12:24am

Tue July 7, 2015
U.S.

For Homeless Families, Quick Exit From Shelters Is Only A Temporary Fix

Originally published on Wed July 8, 2015 1:17 pm

Kyra Brooks, 8, strokes her mother's head. After years in and out of various programs, McClellan finally received a permanent housing voucher for the apartment she and her three children live in now. That means she has to pay up to 30 percent of her income in rent, but there's no time limit, unlike in the rapid rehousing program.
Lexey Swall GRAIN for NPR

More than 150,000 U.S. families are homeless each year. The number has been going down, in part because of a program known as rapid rehousing, which quickly moves families out of shelters and into homes.

But new research by the Obama administration finds that for many families, rapid rehousing is only a temporary fix.

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5:07am

Tue June 16, 2015
Around the Nation

Americans Donated $358 Billion In 2014 For Record Donations

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 7:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:38am

Tue June 9, 2015
U.S.

For Baltimore Businesses, Aid For Riot Repair Is Not Coming Fast Enough

Originally published on Sun June 14, 2015 9:57 pm

Volunteers clean up a business damaged during an evening of riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray on April 28 in Baltimore.
Evan Vucci AP

It took only minutes for stores in Baltimore to be destroyed on the night of April 27. But six weeks later, the repair process is still limping along. And stores not directly affected by the violence say they've also seen a sharp decline in business.

"Look outside, there's nobody," says Pedro Silva, owner of Carolina's Tex-Mex Restaurant in Fells Point, a usually busy tourist spot. "Before, we used to be no parking space. Now it's empty. It's empty — day, night."

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5:18pm

Sat June 6, 2015
U.S.

Trans In Transition: Finding Friends And Community In D.C.

Originally published on Sun June 7, 2015 12:42 am

Ruby Corado, second from right, and Selena Cruz whip their hair around playfully while joking with Lazema Mills, left, and Giselle Gartzog, right, at Casa Ruby, a drop-in and service center for transgender people in Washington, D.C. Through the center, Corado helps people find housing, medical care and get food.
Lexey Swall GRAIN for NPR

Hanging out on the front porch on a warm evening, people tend to open up a little more than usual. Which is what happened when I sat with Ruby Corado and two other trans women outside a house Corado runs for homeless transgender adults. I was there to do a profile of Corado, an activist in Washington, D.C.

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3:31am

Wed May 27, 2015
Doing More With Less

Casa Ruby Is A 'Chosen Family' For Trans People Who Need A Home

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 8:06 pm

Ruby Corado runs Casa Ruby, a drop-in and service center for transgender people in Washington, D.C. Through the center, Corado helps people find housing, medical care and get food. Corado also has 22 beds in transitional housing for transgender adults and youth who would otherwise be homeless.
Lexey Swall GRAIN for NPR

Editor's note: This story contains language that some may find offensive.

This story is part of an occasional series about individuals who don't have much money or power but do have a big impact on their communities.

If you're transgender in America, you're far more likely than other people to be unemployed, homeless and poor. And there's a 4 in 10 chance you've tried to kill yourself.

It can be a confusing and lonely life.

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4:05pm

Mon May 18, 2015
It's All Politics

Cheap And Fast, Online Voter Registration Catches On

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 7:42 pm

Debra Bowen, then California secretary of state, demonstrates the state's online voter registration system when it was launched in 2012. Voters can also still register using a paper form.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Voters in more than half the states will soon be able to register online, rather than filling out a paper form and sending it in.

Twenty states have implemented online voter registration so far, almost all in the past few years. Seven other states and the District of Columbia are now in the process of doing so. That includes Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last Friday requiring the state to allow online voter registration by 2017.

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5:49pm

Sat May 2, 2015
U.S.

After Police Are Charged In Gray's Death, Baltimore Awaits Next Steps

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 9:57 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

8:25am

Sat May 2, 2015
Race

Demonstrators Jubilant After Baltimore Police Charges

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 2:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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