Michael and Danielle and Family

WARNING: This video will mess you up! Being on a road trip focusing on homeless youth it was important to tell the story of the homelessness you don’t see – the millions of American families […]

Michael and Danielle and Family

WARNING: This video will mess you up!

Being on a road trip focusing on homeless youth it was important to tell the story of the homelessness you don’t see – the millions of American families living in weekly rate hotels just barley one step from street homelessness. In fact, when I met this wonderful family today, they were packing up to leave and live in their car. The hotel had given them one day’s grace, but they were completely out of money with no place to go. I am still emotional thinking about it even hours later. Truth is, thousands upon thousands of families face being evicted from a hotel to the streets every single day! This family was lucky. I tweet out what I call a “Hail Mary” and a generous heart stepped up and donated a weeks stay. That too messed me up!

Michael, Danielle, and their six children live in one hotel room near St Louis. Michael works a full time job, and they used to rent a house, but their landlord didn’t pay the mortgage. After the bank took the property back, Michael, Danielle, and their six children were evicted with no place to go.

Hotel homelessness becomes a trap. Hotel’s cost more than an apartment, but you can move right in without deposit, and a hotel room is far better than the streets. Once in, people who are considered the working poor, have an impossible time trying to save up enough money to afford adequate housing. Often these hotels are not a good place for kids to grow up.

There is a lot of emotion in this video. I get messed up throughout, but when the parents start talking about having to run in to the bathroom to cry so the kids don’t see – I’m done! I am pissed that families have to live like this and heartbroken because I can literally feel their pain. I don’t speak about this much, but I was raised by my mother and we went through some hard years when I was young.

If I could get you to watch just one video all the way to the end, and then share, this would be that video. This family is filled with strength and love, and has the courage to share their very real story about the homeless you don’t see, but need to see!

Michael, Danielle, and their six children live in one hotel room near St Louis. Click To Tweet
Huge thanks to the generous donor who helped pay for another week’s hotel for this family.Special thanks to Paul Kruse, who helps these families every single day of the year

This Invisible People road trip is made possible by  Sevenly and Virgin Mobile USA, who are partnering to end youth homelessness through Virgin Mobile USA’s initiative, RE*Generation. For more information please click here.

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  • Claire

    I’ve done some work with families living in motels. For many, it started as a temporary solution to living on the streets, but ended up being more permanent when they were unable to find housing. It’s a disgrace that our country allows people to live like this. I fear that it will continue to get worse as long as there continues to be a lack of affordable and adequate housing. Something must be done!

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  • someone

    someone tell me what happen.. i cant see nothing

  • Simbalage21

    WoW! I am amazed because people assume you are a bad person, or did something wrong to become homeless. I learned myself that all it takes is one accident @ work to make you disabled to find yourself 1st loosing your utitites, and then your house. I don’t do drugs, Gamble or any of the stuff one would think homeless people are. I lost everything I own because I don’t have the strength to save it and it was amazing to see how people taking your stuff and you are helpless to do anything about it.

  • Chris

    Yes, this family’s circumstances makes me sad. What nice people and what a shame they got burned by their landlord. Folks, it’s no joke, all of us can be just minutes or days away from the same situation. Don’t think you’re safe from it (especially in this fake, jacked economy). We need to help our fellow man/woman out whenever possible. I wish this family all the best. Please post an update or some more contact information about them (Including their full names) so more folks can help them out! Thanks for showing these true and amazing stories. Stay alert, safe and pass on the good word! Networking is “KEY” even where the homeless are concerned. Dick York (formerly Darin on the TV show “Bewitched”) crusaded for the homeless for many years after almost becoming homeless himself with a huge family to feed. He did offer some good advice though like “Pack an extra lunch for others or lead them to a job finding situation etc. rather than just giving money to peeps on the street. Google him and look him up on YouTube.. A very wise man with great ideas! Chris : )


    Nothing I have seen on this site hurts my heart and soul as much as this story. These are GOOD PEOPLE who did nothing wrong. This family is suffering because; a monster of a landlord took their money and failed to pay on the place they called home. Now this poor family is suffering. I would like to see the landlord get the death penalty for what they did to this family. Good people should should NOT have to endure this level of pain when they did everything right. God Bless the mom and dad for working so hard to keep their family together. If I had billions of dollars, I’d buy this family a home. My heart has never been so more profoundly hurt than upon watching this. I pray God helps this family.

    These are definitely people I would help were it possible to do so. I don’t help drug addicts and alcoholics but good people down on their luck, families like this one, I’ll help every time all the time. I always say if yoou are stupid enough to shoot yourself in the foot be smart enough to buy your own band aid. If you get shot in the foot and are suffering, I’ll gladly buy you all the bandaids you need till you get better. This family was wounded by a monster landlord they did NOT do this to themselves and the babies don’t deserve this suffering. God bless youo all!

  • hopelessingeorgia

    Right at this moment I am living in a hoteI room with my husband and 3 kids. My husband has a full time job. If we were to meet you would never guess we are homeless! Just 1 year ago if you told me this is where we would be I wouldnt of believed you. It all started with a lay off notice. I have searched and searched for help and all I can find is food stamps. Does anyone ever wonder how can a homeless person living in a hotel cook!! I do not know how but I know somehow we will make it back on our feet. I promise you I will fight until the day I die for the working poor. We are the true invisible families!!!! Where is all of the money given to these non profits going!!!!! It breaks my heart…Please pray for us

  • Kristen Smith

    Thank you so much for creating this blog! I have worked in case management for years in homeless prevention and family shelter after once surviving homelessness with my own children. People need to understand that children and families are the new face of homelessness. My 13 year old daughter and I also took a road trip this summer from Boston to The Pacific Northwest to help a family shelter program. I have read about families out there living in cars in a church parking lot. You can also follow my blog at homelessinmassachusetts.blogspot.com

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