President Donald Trump has declared the United States’ economy to be “the best economy we've ever had in the history of our country.” His administration likewise declared the nation’s decades-long war on poverty “largely over and a success.” So Center for Public Integrity reporters this summer visited six communities where residents say the crushing effects of poverty and government neglect aren’t improving — they’ve gone from bad to worse. Problems range from broken education systems to unlivable housing to infrastructure fit for the third world. One factor binds them together: a profound lack of political clout on the eve of a critical midterm election that will decide the balance of power in Washington. Here are their stories.