Recording and mixing music are Vernon Thomas' passions, but being CEO and producer of Mantree Records isn't his day job.
He's an HIV outreach worker for a county health department outside Newark, N.J. He took what was to be a full-time job in May because the gig came with health insurance — and he has HIV himself.
But then the county made it a part-time job, and Thomas lost health coverage before it even started. "Benefits are more important than the money you're making," he says.