Meet Nicole Jones. She’s a California Bay Area mother living in a 250-square-foot garage with her 18-month-old baby girl.
When Jones became pregnant she lost her job and could no longer afford to pay her apartment rent. She initially moved into a shelter and felt lucky when she found the single-car garage space converted into a studio in a San Mateo suburban home for $1,000 a month.
Her small home consists of a central living space that serves as a living room, bedroom and kitchen as well as a tiny bathroom with a shower and toilet. She cooks in a microwave perched on top of a clothing cabinet; she sleeps on a pull-out couch.
“This is pretty much all I could get,” she told CNN.
While Jones has secured new work, she plans to sit tight, even though she’s pregnant again. The rents in San Mateo County are the second highest in the state.
“The average rent for a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment reached $2,501, up 16 percent in just two years,” the San Jose Mercury News reported last year.
Jones is one of many single moms, families, and people from all walks of life and backgrounds who’ve been squeezed out of their living situations and in many cases forced out of the area altogether.
“I didn’t know much about homelessness before,” Jones told CNN. ”Honestly, I thought homeless people were panhandlers or people on the street that were hungry and cold and drug addicts and alcoholics who didn’t want to do anything for themselves.”
Source: San Francisco Gate