Fairfield was originally planned as a model city by the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company in 1910 to house workers in their new Fairfield Works plant. While the steel plant remains a major employer, the industry has seen significant decline since the 1950s. Redlining policies and the construction of a major interstate that bisects the city soon followed. Most major retailers have now shuddered their stores. Public bus transportation was terminated in July 2016 for the city’s failure to pay its bill, and the water board has threatened to cut off all water to public buildings because of non payment. On May 20, 2020, the city filed for bankruptcy.
Tom (image 1) has lived in Fairfield for the last 16 years. In 2000, he broke his back when he fell in the bathroom. After multiple surgeries and having 19 screws placed on his spine, he was told he would be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. His medical bills caused him to go bankrupt, and he lives alone and survives on his social security and medicare. Under President Obama, Tom saw cost of living adjustments made to his monthly checks, but he says Trump has cut those adjustments and he now struggles to afford groceries each month.
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