Thomas lives in a homeless shelter with his wife and four daughters. This is the first time they were in this situation. After a bad slumlord situation last April, the family ended up couch surfing going from place to place. They eventually found a family shelter that would take them, but not until they slept in their car for a period of time.
Being the protective father, Thomas says he can’t let his girls out of his sight. During the evenings, he enjoys driving for the ridesharing company Lyft so he can be with his family during the day!
US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s definition of homelessness does not include individuals and families who are couch surfing or paying for a hotel room on their own. Before a homeless services organization can provide help, families have to go sleep in their car or outside! As a former family case manager in Los Angeles, this family’s story brings back awful memories of when I would have to tell families with kids I could not help them until they “qualified as homeless”.
The good news is Thomas and his family will soon be in housing thanks to the support they receive from LA Family Housing.
Angelenos can help end homelessness this March 7th. Vote YES on Measure H to help end homelessness for 45,000 families and individuals across Los Angeles County within the next five years. It will also prevent homelessness for 30,000 families and individuals over the same time period, including women and children, veterans, seniors, foster youth, and survivors of domestic violence. For more information click here.
Very special thanks to LA Family Housing.