Six months ago, in the middle of the night, Lane’t Lynn’s friend decided she and her two children couldn’t stay with them anymore. Suddenly, they found themselves homeless.Unable to find a shelter, they started sleeping in her car. She thought it would be temporary. It stretched on for six months. They stayed mostly in the parking lot of a Citrus Heights park that had a bathroom. They weren’t the only homeless family staying there, she said. For four days, they stayed in a downtown Sacramento hotel with a voucher from the county’s department of human services. But it expired, and they went back to sleeping in the car.’It’s hard,’ said Lynn, 24. Lynn, who is known by this name and requested her legal name be withheld because she fears for her welfare, was sitting on the bed of her room at America’s Best Value Inn in Sacramento last week. She was feeding her year-old son London Velavaz apple sauce while her 3-year-old daughter Kalaya Warren watched ‘Frozen’ in pajamas. ‘But I make sure my kids have what they need. We make it the best we can,’ she said. Homeless mom describes the hardship of finding housing with her children. Many homeless mothers in Sacramento have a similar story. As Sacramento rents continue to rapidly rise, affordable housing has become scarce. As a result, the region’s homeless shelters are typically full, while many people have taken to living in encampments along the American River Parkway, under freeway overpasses, and in downtown doorways. A huge number of them are families, quietly sleeping under blankets in winter coats in cars parked in tucked away in the corners of parking lots at grocery stores, churches and parks.
Scott Mc Kiernan, Founder & CEO, ZUMA Press