Pinnacle Auto Appraisers' Blog

Keeping the auto appraising industry up to date with important auto industry and appraiser information.

Opinion | Voices from Inside America’s Homelessness Crisis - The New York Times

A record number of people across the country are experiencing homelessness: the federal government’s annual tally last year revealed the highest numbers of unsheltered people since the count began in 2007. Politicians and policymakers are grappling with what can be done. But the people who are actually experiencing homelessness are rarely part of the conversation.

Lori Teresa Yearwood, a journalist who lived through years of homelessness, spoke of the ways we discount those without shelter. “Society created a new species of people, and we carefully crafted an image of them: one of broken passivity and victimhood, people in need of constant scrutiny and monitoring,” she said in a 2022 speech. “When we shift and widen the perspective of the unhoused, that’s when things radically change.” Ms. Yearwood collaborated with Times Opinion on this project before her untimely death in September. She understood what many who have not experienced homelessness ignore: that people without shelter have something to say — and often something of great worth — about what it’s like to live inside this country’s cobbled-together solutions.

That’s why we sent reporters and photographers to different parts of the country to meet with people experiencing homelessness in very different ways. We asked them to fill out surveys, take videos, use disposable cameras and have their children share drawings.

Whatever led them to homelessness, the people who spoke to The Times want a way out. As the nation debates how to help them, they shared the solutions they want to see.

Chelsie
Stevens has
been sleeping
on friends’
couches while
she attends
community
college.

She and her children are some of the estimated 3.7 million Americans who are doubled up, a kind of homelessness hidden in plain sight.

Crashing at someone’s house, doubling up, couch surfing: It all conjures a rosy scenario in which someone takes in friends or family members who have fallen on hard times, offering them comfort, safety and a roof over their heads. But in reality, doubling up is a much more complicated, under-the-radar form of homelessness. It may be a temporary solution, a precursor to living in a shelter or on the street, or part of a cycle of housing instability that involves crowded living conditions and a devastating lack of privacy and safety.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development doesn’t recognize doubling up as homelessness, which can mean that families and individuals who live with others — by necessity, not choice — lose out on essential government services and benefits.

image

Chelsie Stevens’s sons, 11 and 14, sleeping on an inflatable bed.

But we can have a sense of the size of the problem by looking at the children. Thanks to landmark 1987 legislation, children who share housing because of economic hardship or loss of their homes qualify for benefits through their public schools: dedicated liaisons, free lunch, free transportation to school even if they are living out of the district. In 2022, public schools counted 1,205,292 homeless students, 76 percent of whom were doubled up.

We met with four single moms, all of whom were crashing at someone else’s house with their children.

Jackie Randolph, 34, is staying with her five children in a bedroom at her ex-partner’s place in Cincinnati: We got to be quiet. We can’t talk loud. We can’t have fun. We can’t do nothing. It’s like living in jail. We got to be sneaky because of the neighbors. They’re really set in their ways and they ain’t trying to have nobody that stay over there that don’t live there.

Chelsie Stevens, 33, has been on friends’ couches with one of her children while the others sleep at their grandparents’ house near Sarasota, Fla.: I met my current host getting cleaning jobs from him. Thankfully he understood my situation because he has been in my shoes and let me pay him $600 a month to stay with him. He makes me feel like we’re welcome to stay in his house but it’s a little uncomfortable because now that I am staying here, our relationship went from a friendship about work to some odd feeling like he likes me or wants to date me. But we have nowhere else to go.

Michelle Schultz, 52, has been staying on friends’ couches with her daughter near Waukesha, Wis.: It can cause a strain on even the best friendships. As much as it's nice that people will do that, it’s a burden for them to take up that extra space.

Lizbeth Santiago, 28, sleeps with her two children on the floor of her sister’s living room in Fort Worth: Living with my sister feels terrible. It’s very tense. My children are very loud and rambunctious while her son is quiet. My sister, having anxiety and paranoia and autism, it’s upsetting for her. So I feel quite bad.

image

Jackie Randolph and her children have cycled through shelters and slept in her car before staying on friends’ couches.

image

Michelle Schultz, with her 5-year-old daughter, has been homeless on and off for about 10 years.

Lizbeth Santiago: I don’t have SNAP benefits or anything. My sister gets a Social Security check for my nephew because he’s autistic and that helps them a lot. If they didn’t have that, they also would not be making it. But because I live with them, I can’t apply for SNAP benefits — that would negatively affect her. And would put an even bigger strain on our relationship.

Michelle Schultz: Because state regulations want to include everybody you’re living with in their income, I had to lie this whole 10 years that I've been homeless. If they know what the household income is, I would lose food stamps. I would lose benefits to the point where I’d probably have to pay copay for doctor prescriptions. I just had to tell them I was homeless and I gave them a mailing address of a P.O. box.

Chelsie Stevens: They are behaving poorly in school. My oldest is always worried about me and has a hard time focusing. The kids seem depressed more now.

Lizbeth Santiago: I know it affects her. She tries to hide it. She’s a child. I want her to be a child. I don’t want her to worry about why Mommy’s upset. Those are adult concerns. Those are things that she shouldn’t have on her mind. I wish she didn’t have to experience any of that.

Jackie Randolph: My only goal is making sure my kids stay happy so they don’t think about the situation we are in. Every time they start doubting or they get weary, I just say: “This is just going to make us stronger. It’s going to bring us closer together. You could tell your kids about this.” So they could say: “My mom, she did not give up. She did not give up. She kept fighting.” My kids is the reason why I’m not in a crazy house right now. Because I probably should have been years ago.

image

Jackie Randolph’s youngest daughter, Clinteria.

image

Chelsie Stevens’s youngest daughter, Faith.

Lizbeth Santiago: A job that pays enough. But the harsh reality is it won’t be enough. I donate plasma two times a week and I’m still going to continue to have to do that. I also go to a food pantry once a week to get food.

Jackie Randolph: Stop making the process so long. If somebody needs help today, why would you say, “Next week we’ll be here to help you” or “Give us 30 days to help you”?

Michelle Schultz: If I could have had some help with day care to be able to go and look for a job.

Chelsie Stevens: There needs to be something in place for the young kids growing up in poverty, and parents of those kids. To guide them at a young age how to not end up like I am. Not everyone is born into normalcy and structure or love. Until a person is taught, how can they know?

After staying at her friend’s apartment for several months, she left when her host made her feel uncomfortable. Her children slept at their grandparents’ house while she slept in her car.

Scroll to read what people living in
motels, cars, encampments and
shelters want others to understand
about homelessness in America.

Times Opinion asked
people experiencing
homelessness to respond
to a survey in
their own writing.

Since she lost
her family home
nearly a year
ago, Kimberly
has been living
in a motel.

People like
Kimberly who
turn to motels
for shelter
are often not
even counted
as homeless.

They arrive in cars crammed with the contents of the homes they were evicted from, or by bus, weighed down by bags. They walk over, in wet socks or ruined pants, from a tent encampment nearby when the weather is too rough to be outside. They leave their kids sleeping in the queen beds when they go to work the night shift at an Amazon warehouse. Few of the guests at this airport motel arrive on a flight; most are locals in search of affordable shelter. A yellow school bus picks up children outside the lobby and police cars and outreach workers do rounds through the parking lot, but mostly the true role the motel plays is invisible and improvised by desk clerks.

The capacity of shelters and subsidized housing hasn’t kept pace with the growing homelessness crisis, so New York and other cities have turned to private motels to house people, and some charities offer emergency vouchers for brief stays. During the Covid pandemic, empty hotels and motels were also temporarily converted into official homeless shelters; most of those programs have since wound down.

But even in places where motels are not officially serving as homeless shelters, people who have lost their housing simply pay the rack rate when they have nowhere else to go. Motels offer an option for those who are shut out of rentals because of evictions on their records or for parents who do not want to be separated from their children, as many shelters do not accept families.

We spoke with 11 people who are temporarily staying in a motel on the outskirts of Milwaukee.

image

Ashley and her twin children in their motel room.

Ashley, 38, has been staying with four of her five children in a motel room for the last several months: This is my first time being displaced from housing. The first two weeks were the roughest. I didn’t know where to go. I’m used to having birthday parties at hotels for my kids — I’m really only in hotels then or if we’re on vacation. I didn’t know you can rent hotels to live. I pay daily at these hotels. It’s expensive. On a good night, it costs $51; with tax, $56. On weekends it’s $73. They usually tell me if something special is going on, because it’ll go up. For the state fair, they actually put all the homeless people out. I was back in my car for two weeks.

Kala, 32, has been battling drug addiction for years. She and her partner stay in motel rooms whenever they have enough money: You are basically on a timer that gives you anxiety and puts you on an edge. I have to figure out how to come up with another 70 bucks in less than 24 hours every day. It’s the same thing as being homeless. Yeah, I can sleep here for 12 hours but in 12 hours I got to figure something out, so I am not doing anything with that 12 hours — just stressing over how I’m going to pay for the next 12 hours. I can’t focus on what I am going to do to move forward. You can’t do that in 12 hours.

Kimberly, 53, sold the family home to a “sell for cash” group when her father became ill: I’ve been here a year in December. It’s an every day struggle trying to pay for everything. That’s why I don’t have food. Room, food, bus. I do plasma. It makes you depressed being stuck in this room 24/7.

Brenda, 53, is staying in a room with her cousin and her 19-year-old autistic son: I have more anxiety. I’m unsure of everything. I’m scared only because of my 19-year-old son. It’s hard to get inside the mind of somebody with autism, but I know one thing for certain is that when his schedule gets disrupted, it disrupts him. And then I feel badly. I tell him things are going to be better, but it’s hard. I tried and failed to make a life for myself.

image

Kala and her boyfriend, Joshua, stay in motels when they can afford it and sleep on the streets when they can’t.

image

Brenda struggles to maintain stability for her and her son.

Max, 47, has been staying in motel rooms with his wife and their sons for several months: Our rent went up unexpectedly. We had had a yearlong lease but then the landlord made it month to month. We couldn’t suck it up and pay. The rent was $1,400 and the next month went up to $1,900.

Kimberly: My storage alone is $260 a month because it was a house full of things we left — I even threw out two giant dumpsters — it’s all our photo albums and furniture. I’m over $1,000 behind. There’s interest, late fees. I owe the storage place on the 20th and if I don’t pay them it will go to auction. You can’t pay here at the motel and come up with money to get a place. It’s impossible. And that’s why a lot of us are stuck.

Ashley: I owe the storage unit $100 so they locked it. The twins were supposed to go to the pumpkin farm today for a school trip but the kids’ coats and boots are in there. I knew they were going to be outside all day at the pumpkin farm so I kept them at home. It’s expensive being homeless. It’s expensive being outside. I’ve applied to places, but I have an open eviction right now.

David, 63, has been homeless for about two years: I didn’t receive my benefits one month. I was fighting with the QUEST card people. You get a review every few years to keep the benefits going. Well, not living in a permanent place, I don’t receive my mail, so I missed the review. That’s why my benefits were cut off.

image

David

Ashley: I called 211 and told them I was homeless and my situation. One night at 3 in the morning, they called me. They said we’re out and about at the address you gave us but we don’t see your car. I’m like, “Well, tonight we got a room” and they’re like, “Well, that’s not considered homeless. When you go back out to that spot give us a call, maybe we can come back out to that spot.” They can help with housing if they can prove that I’m in my car 24/7. But I can’t keep my kids in my car. If I have to pay for a room I will. But they’re saying, “Because you’re inside a hotel you’re not considered homeless.” This doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve never noticed how many homeless people were out here until I became one.

Scroll to read what people living in
cars, encampments and shelters
want others to understand about
homelessness in America.

Sage and Fiona
Reuscher and
their son have
been homeless
since May.

The Reuschers
are among
the over 19,000
people in Los
Angeles living out
of their cars.

When Americans lose their housing, their cars are often the first place they turn. The federal government doesn’t collect data specifically on vehicular homelessness, but recent studies show that over 40 percent of unsheltered people in Los Angeles County live in their vehicles — cars, vans, campers and R.V.s. The cold reality: Finding a safe place to park is a challenge, made worse by a web of complicated ordinances that in much of the country make sleeping and living in your car illegal, with towing and expensive tickets a constant worry.

The Los Angeles area is home to the nation’s largest population of “vehicle dwellers.” One nonprofit, Safe Parking L.A., has set up in parking lots across Los Angeles in response, allowing people to stay in their cars during the night when businesses are closed, providing amenities like restrooms, security guards and sometimes even financial services and opportunities to find shelters and housing.

We spoke with people in one such parking lot, sandwiched between the Los Angeles airport runway and industrial land. The people staying there shared why they’re living in their cars, and what they need to get back into housing.

image

Chloe Heard by the car where she sleeps.

Chloe Heard, 36, has been homeless since August 2020: Before this lot, I was parking by the beach. I was really unsafe. The police were coming to my car, and I was scared. My main concerns were if someone was going to walk up to my car and bust my windows, or if the police were going to arrest me for trespassing. You don’t really rest because you’re constantly jumping up to look around to make sure you’re not going to get in trouble for being there. I’d be getting tickets for parking on streets, sleeping in my car. Sometimes, street sweeping has come before you wake up and you’ve already gotten a ticket before you noticed the person.

B.A., 52, works as a bus driver at the airport and lives out of his car: Living in my car is hard. I don’t have any electricity. I always have to run the car. That’s wasting gas. I feel like I’m not safe wherever I sleep — these lots or wherever I sleep on the street.

Edward Taylor, 47, lives in his car with his husband after they lost their apartment in 2022: The way that parking on public streets impacted us was just sleep. Being here in a safe zone that is monitored and secluded from what’s happening on the other side of these barricades allows you to get sleep. It allows you to sleep a little bit more peacefully than if I have to worry about other homeless people. Sorry, I forgot I am homeless now.

image

Curtis Lynch and Edward Taylor

image

Juana Zabala in the car where she sleeps.

Chloe Heard: How do they expect people facing homelessness to have 700 or 800 credit scores? Or have co-signers? People don’t even trust that you can make it on your own, let alone use someone else’s assistance to get there. How in the heck could someone vouch for you to maybe help ruin their credit?

B.A.: On a big lot like this, they should just let people park there all day and all night. With Safe Parking I don’t like that you have to leave, come back, leave, come back. I want to just leave my car here and then I could just take off somewhere or walk. But instead, I got to drive, waste gas, come back. I spend more money on gas than I spend on anything.

Edward Taylor: I have an income. I have money saved. I tell people I have enough money to pay them three times the deposit. But even right now that is not acceptable because your credit score is not good or you have an eviction on your record.

Fiona Reuscher, 43, lives in her car with her partner, Sage, and their teenage son: Once everything is taken from you, it becomes how much more do you have to give up? We’ve had shelters that have said, “We can take you, but we don’t allow dogs.” We’ve already given up everything. You’re not going to take away our best friends. These are our dogs. These are our emotional support animals. These are our protectors. They’re like our kids. You can’t do that. But they expect you to do this. They expect you to give these things up. They expect you to be happy with a doghouse because you’re in your car. No, we want housing. What’s good for you should be good for me. If it’s not good for you then why are you trying to pawn it off on me?

Edward Taylor: I am not grounded in some place to update my résumé and have access to the internet to look for jobs and network. I’m not able to access my full belongings to get into my full self to go out to places to network with people.

Chloe Heard: People think that because you don’t have a home that you’re dirty, you may stink, that you’re crazy for sleeping in a car. I told my friend that I sleep in my car. She said: “You sleep in your car? What’re you talking about?” It makes me refrain from telling people because then they’re looking at me in a judging sense like I’m lesser than. It makes me feel like less of an active citizen in society because people look down on you.

image

Fiona and Sage Reuscher prepare their car to sleep for the night.

Curtis Lynch, 38, lives in his car with his husband, Edward: The eviction moratorium should have lasted longer. There should have been a proper system in place where the government helped pay during that process — like, pay back 30 percent of what you owe, and your eviction could be withheld. There’s a better system they should have worked with.

Terri Ann Romo, 43, lives in her car with her mom, Juana: It would be nice if you could shower. We went a whole month without showering until recently.

Frankey Daniels, 32, has two jobs and has been homeless since July: Create more housing programs for people who work and are going through homelessness. It takes some time to really figure it out and do your research when you have to go to work, and some people are working two jobs.

B.A.: At the Convention Center, they had plugs. They had bathrooms that you could walk into with a private sink and toilet. They use port-a-potties here. They need to be cleaned out every day.

Fiona Reuscher: Having weekly meetings so that the people who are the decision makers out here talk to us on the lot. We need better transparency. If you’re not talking to the people that you’re serving, then you’re not serving them.

Scroll to read what people living
in encampments and shelters
want others to understand about
homelessness in America.

Tyrese Payeton
has been living in
an encampment
for several months.

He is one
of hundreds of
people living
in tents and other
temporary shelters
in Nashville.

Less than a mile from Nashville’s bustling tourist district, the Old Tent City homeless encampment lies in a forest hidden between the banks of the Cumberland River and the shadow of a steep, dusty bluff. At the top of the bluff is a new condominium building where two-bedroom units with panoramic views of the downtown skyline sell for $1.2 million. The sprawling shantytown below is home to dozens of people who live in tents and makeshift abodes — the winners and the losers of the new Nashville economy live in one another's shadows.

Tent cities, which often include other shelters like wooden sheds and R.V.s, have become a common feature in the landscape of American cities. In Nashville, one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the United States, 17 percent of people who are homeless are living on the streets and in encampments. According to service providers, there are dozens of encampments spread out across the city and the surrounding county. The people living in them often aren’t included in decisions over their fates, even as the city has made closing the camps a key part of its larger fight against homelessness for the last year.

We spoke to residents of Old Tent City and four other encampments in Nashville. Most of them want to be off the streets. All of them want a system that better supports them.

image

Wade in his “tiny home,” a temporary shelter the size of a shed.

Fred Moore, 57, has been homeless for about 12 years: I love the homeless people that’s out here. Most of them that’s new don’t know how to live being homeless. There are so many different tricks and ways around it that people just don’t know how and when you got somebody that’s already been out here, they know the ways to do things and help pass information.

Cynthia Gaddis, 35, ended up on the streets several months ago: I’ve learned you can depend more on the homeless people than you can with the people that have everything.

Bobby Conner Jr., 29, who has been homeless since he was 13, was struggling with addiction when he arrived in Old Tent City: Any time I ever need a place to come, just lay low and just crash, and need a family, I know I can always come down here. When I came down here, I looked at them, I was like: “I want off of that. I want to start my life new again.” They were like: “You really want to do it? You’re more than welcome to bring your stuff down here. Set up your spot. We’ll make sure you stay off of it.”

Casey Guzak, 47, became homeless two years ago after a rent increase: I don’t think Hoovertowns are appropriate unless there’s a major depression. Shantytowns accumulate hostility, disease, and everyone’s calamity is amplified.

New York is an Army veteran living in a tent in Old Tent City: I can afford to pay the rent. I just can’t afford the deposit. And being out here kind of messed up my credit. But now I’m paying three credit fixers to fix my credit. Nobody in my family knows I’m out here. I’m too embarrassed to reach out and say something because they’ve never seen me. When I was out there, I had an apartment and a house and had two cars. I was making good money. So it’s a pride thing.

Terri Masterson and her partner lost their home of 23 years just miles away from where they stay on the street now: I am ashamed of it. I’m ashamed that I’m ashamed, but I truly am. You know, I am an old-fashioned girl. This is not how I was raised, as my grandmother would say.

Fred Moore: It’s hard for me to hold down a job because I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing. I’ve been down here trying to get signed up on disability and try to give my brain time to rest and really see what’s going on.

Jacquelyn Manner, 61, lost her job and her home after a debilitating brain injury: I’m a pretty healthy person, but I’m also 61. I can’t eat a lot of the stuff that they have out there. I need fresh vegetables. I have food stamps, but I didn’t have a place that I could eat fresh vegetables and yogurt. It’s going to be pasta, rice. A lot of sugar and a lot of salt. It creates health problems.

Riley, 23, moved into an encampment to try to save money: I was living in a motel. I was making $600 a week doing day labor, and the motel was so expensive. I had the idea: I'll come out here and I’ll stack some money up for a few weeks. Thought I’d be able to get back up on my feet in no time. I had to be at the day-labor office at five in the morning, so I was buying Ubers, spending like 40 bucks in the morning. And then I’m getting off work at rush hour. And the prices go up. I’m spending another $30 to get home. It’s 70 bucks. I made $125 a day, so I got 55 bucks left. I got to eat, so I bought a camp stove. I just stopped going to work after three months.

image

Casey Guzak

image

Brandi and her boyfriend, Robert.

image

Fred Moore

image

Mama V

Casey Guzak: They use the landscapers to cut trees around you, expose you. Then they tell you you need to get everything in your tent — there’s too much stuff out here, too much litter. I agree! But they take your tent when you’re not there. They figure if you’re exposed, you’ll be embarrassed. We weren’t. We just sat there. You know, who are we going to be embarrassed by? Their message is, “We got to clear this place out for gentrification.” It’s about to happen here. It’s happening all over Nashville. It’s like a war.

Wade lives in a 60-square-foot shed in an encampment in the backyard of a church: When I was homeless, and I mean homeless — no housing, no nothing, bushes and trees right behind me — the police, they say, “Oh, you can’t sleep here.” And you’re sitting there saying, “But that ain’t fair.” They don't care. If you’re not doing anything and you’re not causing any disturbance why come over and harass you? They’re not doing what the police are supposed to do. They’re supposed to protect and serve.

C.J. has lived in an encampment for four years and worries he and his fellow residents will be evicted soon: All you’re going to do is bust up a nest, and that nest is going to spread out somewhere else. When you bust it up, the ones that are scattered are going to find somewhere else and then you got another problem. … I’m going to go to another area, find another spot, set up another camp and start the process all over again.

Jacquelyn Manner: I need to get permanent shelter and I need to get a good job. And I can’t do that unless I have an outfit. Unless I have a place that I can shower. Unless I can have a place where I can keep my clothes decent, and know that I can wear some decent clothes to work.

Clyde Hohn, 52, and his wife, Norvalla, have been residents of Old Tent City for about a month: We should have security guards in the encampments. We got people firing off firearms. Somebody ran a knife through my tent. There are noises all night, people arguing. A security guard would help us keep safe, help us sleep so we can go to work in the morning and get ourselves off the street. She’s a cashier at a gas station. It’d be a lot worse if she lost her job.

Mama V: A goal of ours is to find the land and make it where the homeless can have somewhere and nobody can tell them, “Hey, you’ve got to go.” I tell everybody, you never know when you're going to be one paycheck away from where we’re at right now.

image

Jacquelyn Manner in front of the tiny home where she sleeps.

Scroll to read what people living
in shelters want others to understand
about homelessness in America.

Levon Higgins
lost his housing
after expensive
surgery. He lives
in a shelter,
sharing a room
with dozens
of men.

Every night,
some 445,000
Americans stay
in shelters like
the one where
he sleeps.

The shelter comes after it all. After the pawnship and plasma donation. After the diagnosis, the divorce, the eviction, the relapse. After the final family member says no.

Emergency shelters provide a place to sleep — even if only a mat on a floor — and meals. At some, you can get clean socks, a haircut, a tooth pulled, even therapy. The shelter represents the last stop from the bottom, a bulwark from the street, but it can also represent a chance: to leave your abuser, to earn your G.E.D., to make a new start.

Homelessness is highest in cities with exorbitant rents, but small cities and rural communities are not shielded from the housing crisis. Some small towns have eviction rates that rival those of big cities. Because rural America lacks many social services, like free clinics, soup kitchens and shelters, the rural homeless often make their way to places like the Water Street Mission. A Christian rescue mission in Lancaster, Pa., a city of roughly 57,000, it has been serving the hungry and homeless since 1917.

We spoke with several people staying at the Water Street Mission, some of whom were there for the first time and some who had sought refuge there many times before.

image

James Costello

James Costello, 58, lost a leg to diabetes complications, then his job and housing soon after: When I first came here, we were sleeping on the chapel floor here on “boats.” They were like hard things, maybe about a foot high. And you threw a mat on it and that was what we slept on. And they said: “This is not good for the people. They’re losing dignity.” That’s the one thing here. They want you to have dignity; you’ve lost everything else. So they don’t want to take that from you either. Yeah, you’re in your room with 45 other guys, but you still feel like a person. You don’t feel like cattle being shoved in and shoved out of a room.

Tamekia Gibbs, 48, arrived at Water Street after surviving domestic violence: Knowing that you have a place to lay your head and knowing you’ll have food in your mouth, that’s a good thing. It’s everything else that comes along with it, especially if you’ve never been in that predicament — sleeping in a room full of women, you just never know how strange, how stressful that is. You have to get used to different things. You got to get used to having to get used to it.

Shawna, 44, is recovering from an addiction and has been in and out of homelessness for over a decade: You don’t have to go, “Well, why are they throwing God in my face all the time?” Just sit down, listen. Maybe that lesson was meant for you and that’s why you’re getting mad. I just go, I listen. If it’s for me, I sit and listen. If not, I play with something on my phone.

Levon Higgins, 50, has been staying at Water Street for the last six months: I just couldn’t afford to live where I was. Rent went up to $1,500 a month. For a two-bedroom. I just couldn’t do it. When the pandemic first started, I had a savings account, had a SIMPLE I.R.A. Over the past year, things just got worse. Your rent just keeps going up and going up and going up.

Shawna: This is my fifth or sixth time back. This time I decided to come back just so I could get away from my drug of choice and being out on the street and not feeling safe. My daughter came here after me. This would be her second time back with my grandbabies. We stayed here a couple of times together when it was just me and her. It’s just like I’m reliving everything over again. I know something has to change.

Tamekia Gibbs: I endured a lot of physical, emotional and mental abuse. I just got to the point where I lost me completely in that relationship. I said: “This is enough. I got to find somewhere else to go.” So when I did that, of course, it got physical because they didn't want me to leave. I had my son come get me and I took what I could carry. And I’ve been homeless ever since.

image

Tamekia Gibbs

image

Rob Travis Jackson

Evelyn, 39, is a mother of two staying in the family section of the mission: When I first got here, I was so mad, so angry, so hurt that I was even put in this position. To be a single mom and have two kids and be out on the streets, it’s very worrisome because they tell you if you don’t have a place, then C.Y.S. [Children and Youth Services] can take your children. Even going to them for help it was like: “Well, if you don't have a place, then we can’t do anything for you. But legally we can take your children.” And it was like: “No, I don’t think so. You’re not taking my children.” So I was scurrying around trying to find shelter for them.

Jennifer Berrie, 45, was staying in an overnight-only shelter before Water Street: I miss little things you don't even think of. People complain like I used to about cooking, but then you can’t do it for a while and you miss it. Going to bed when you want, not having a curfew, just, you know, living your life. The freedom.

Tamekia Gibbs: There are the ladies that are talking about each other. They’re just doing a lot of backbiting, and when you have that in a community, it causes a lot of friction and tension. I try to stay away from it, I hunker down, do what I’m supposed to in my classes. I stay busy. I tell the ladies: “I came here broken. If I can do it, you can do it.”

James Costello: This is a human condition. Humans have to solve it. Politics can't do that. And that’s the main problem. With the government it is not going to happen. They’re always going to be wanting money. “Where are we going to get the biggest buck?” And as long as that goes on, this problem is going to get worse.

Rob Travis Jackson, 59, became homeless after a financially draining divorce: It’s a little scary to think about what life might be like for any of us after we leave Water Street. If you’re here for a year, you’ve had three meals and three hot meals available through the seasons of the year. And what does my life look like after I leave?

Levon Higgins: Some people who come across hard times, it’s because they maybe lost a job or some mental issues that happened. But that’s not how the world sees it. When they see, they automatically assume: “He’s a drug addict. He’s an alcoholic. They don't want to work. They don't want to do nothing.” And that can’t be further from the truth. They just want some help. People get scared to ask for help because they’ve been denied so many times.

image

Shawna

Scroll to read what people who
are living through homelessness
actually want.

We kept in touch with some of the people we met through our reporting. During the months of producing this project, we heard about their triumphs and their setbacks. Fred Moore was on the verge of receiving Section 8 housing when we met him in Nashville. After 12 years of homelessness, he moved in last September. “I’m still not adjusted to it. I’m like a baby in a crib. It seems easier, but really it’s a lot harder,” he said recently. “At the apartment, I get cabin fever staying in it so much. I miss being outside a lot because you get fresh air. It gets summer time, I might throw up a tent around town and stay there a few days out of the week. It’s hard to pull away from this kind of life, being homeless.”

In October, after Mr. Moore moved into his apartment, the encampment where he had lived was razed by the city. That same month, Nashville provided transitional or permanent housing to 191 people who were once on the street— and 373 people became newly unhoused.

  19 Hits

SEPTA awarded $317M for Market-Frankford Line makeover; Philadelphia transit agency to buy 200 new rail cars - WPVI-TV

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Regional leaders gathered in Upper Darby, Pa. on Wednesday to celebrate the recently awarded $317 million federal grant to modernize SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line.

The grant from the Biden Administration will allow SEPTA to replace 200 railcars along the Market-Frankford Line, also referred to as the "EL."

"This is truly a historic day for SEPTA," Kenneth Lawrence, the SEPTA Board Vice Chairman, said during Wednesday's press conference.

Officials said SEPTA is in dire need of upgrades, adding that the aging railcars are on average 25 years old and need to be replaced.

"It has become challenging to keep those rail cars in service," Nuria Fernandez, the administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, said.

U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, a Democrat representing Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district, called the rail cars "tired" and "increasingly prone to mechanical failure and system delays."

SEPTA's General Manager and CEO Leslie Richards added, "Constant maintenance and downtime are limiting the number of trains we can put out on the line every day, preventing SEPTA from providing the frequency and reliability to support the needs of our customers."

Regional leaders, including local, state, federal and SEPTA officials, held a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, where the EL ends. That's where they formally announced the awarding of the federal grant and provided additional details on how the money will be used.

Action News spoke with commuters at the 69th Street Transportation Center about the funding and the promise of new rail cars for the line.

"There's a lot of people who commute every day. The trains are usually packed. We both commute at least three days a week, so having nicer cars would be better," said Megan Malarick, from Drexel Hill.

Sen. John Fetterman (D) was among the lawmakers in attendance. The team said he led the effort for the grant by co-authoring a letter last month to the Department of Transportation seeking federal funding.

Fetterman told the crowd at Wednesday's press conference, "It's a big deal for anyone who uses this kind of rail to get to where they work, to where they go to school."

RELATED: Gov. Josh Shapiro proposes $282.8 million in state funding for public transit

Lawmakers who joined Fetterman in pushing for this funding include US Sen. Bob Casey, Jr, and US Representatives Dwight Evans, Mary Gay Scanlon, Madeleine Dean, and Chrissy Houlahan.

They explained that what set SEPTA apart from other struggling transit systems was the dire need for upgrades and modernization.

The aging of the rail system, budget shortfalls, and declining number of passengers all played a role in the decision to award the grant, officials said.

According to the 6abc data journalism team, ridership on the Market-Frankford Line hasn't recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

In 2019, the average weekday ridership on the EL was almost 172,000 people. In 2023, it was only about 89,000.

People who take the El on a daily basis tell us upgrades and improvements are necessary.

"To get new EL trains, I think that would be a good thing," said Victoria Nelson, from Overbrook.

"They are definitely old. They definitely need updating. They could look cleaner. So, I think it's great that they got this," said Ryan Malarick, from Drexel Hill.

SEPTA said the plan is to award a contract for the new rail cars this summer, but the agency warns that could be a lengthy process. In the meantime, SEPTA said it is working to keep the current fleet safe and operational.

On Wednesday, lawmakers also stressed that future economic growth in the region depends heavily on SEPTA.

While other transit systems across Pennsylvania are also struggling, lawmakers said SEPTA would be the first to see service cuts and fare hikes without additional help. The transit agency is currently facing a $240 million shortfall for the 2025 fiscal year.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) has already proposed $160 million of state funding to help keep other SEPTA lines up and running. SEPTA officials said the agency desperately needs that money.

"We've made it very clear. If we do not get in this budget the money as it is proposed by Governor Shapiro, if we don't get at least that level, there will be severe cuts and fare increases on SEPTA," Richards said.

Copyright © 2024 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.

  15 Hits

Mercedes-Benz hits cars returns forecast as inflation, supply chain costs bite - Yahoo Finance

STUTTGART (Reuters) -Mercedes-Benz on Thursday forecast lower returns on sales in 2024 across its cars and vans division, warning of the "exceptional" uncertainty caused by conflict in the Middle East and Russia, and tensions between China and the U.S.

Supply chain bottlenecks for critical components remained "a significant risk factor", Mercedes-Benz said in a statement.

The potential for an "even more pronounced slowdown in economic growth" could also have an impact on automotive markets, it added.

The luxury car maker reported an adjusted return on sales in its car division of 12.6% for 2023, in line with its forecast, as inflation and supply chain-related costs as well as component shortages ate into its profits.

For 2024, it said it expected a lower adjusted return of 10-12% for cars and 12-14% for vans, down from last year's 15.1%.

Over the course of 2023, the car maker warned of supply snags and inflation weighing on sales, with price wars particularly in the electric vehicle segment placing pressure on margins.

Still, Mercedes-Benz, the first of Germany's three top car makers to report 2023 results, was expected to have the highest returns margin among the three, in part due to its strategy of passing higher costs to customers.

The luxury car maker raised its average price by 2% to 74,200 euros ($80,395.70) and increased spending on research and development for future technologies such as its MB.OS platform.

Group earnings before interest and taxes fell to 19.7 billion euros from 20.5 billion euros last year despite a 2% rise in revenue.

($1 = 0.9229 euros)

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Miranda Murray and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

  19 Hits

China: Ship rams bridge, plunging cars into river in Guangzhou - Yahoo News

A cargo ship rammed into a bridge in the Chinese city of Guangzhou early on Thursday, plunging five vehicles including a public bus into the river.

The accident killed two people and injured one. Three are still missing, state media said.

Images on broadcaster CCTV show a section of the bridge fractured, with the ship trapped under it. The vessel did not appear to be carrying cargo.

The incident happened at 05:30 local time (21:30 GMT).

The ship's captain has been detained and people residing in the vicinity have been evacuated, according to local media, citing district authorities.

The company that owns the ship said it is cooperating with the investigation, according to reports.

One report quoted a resident saying water supply and internet service in his neighbourhood were suspended.

In October 2021, provincial authorities had identified the need to reinforce the bridge, including constructing "collision avoidance facilities" at four bridge piers, CCTV reported.

The deadline for these works to be completed was postponed three times, most recently to August this year, according to the report.

Guangzhou lies on the Pearl River delta and one is of the busiest seaports in mainland China.

Nansha, the district where the incident took place, is the fastest-growing port in southern China, with cargo volumes increasing every year since it opened in 2004.

  11 Hits

Spectators watch modified cars compete in a drag race along a street during a car racing event in Kabul - The Mountaineer

State AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWashington D.C.West VirginiaWisconsinWyomingPuerto RicoUS Virgin IslandsArmed Forces AmericasArmed Forces PacificArmed Forces EuropeNorthern Mariana IslandsMarshall IslandsAmerican SamoaFederated States of MicronesiaGuamPalauAlberta, CanadaBritish Columbia, CanadaManitoba, CanadaNew Brunswick, CanadaNewfoundland, CanadaNova Scotia, CanadaNorthwest Territories, CanadaNunavut, CanadaOntario, CanadaPrince Edward Island, CanadaQuebec, CanadaSaskatchewan, CanadaYukon Territory, Canada

Zip Code

Country United States of AmericaUS Virgin IslandsUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsCanadaMexico, United Mexican StatesBahamas, Commonwealth of theCuba, Republic ofDominican RepublicHaiti, Republic ofJamaicaAfghanistanAlbania, People's Socialist Republic ofAlgeria, People's Democratic Republic ofAmerican SamoaAndorra, Principality ofAngola, Republic ofAnguillaAntarctica (the territory South of 60 deg S)Antigua and BarbudaArgentina, Argentine RepublicArmeniaArubaAustralia, Commonwealth ofAustria, Republic ofAzerbaijan, Republic ofBahrain, Kingdom ofBangladesh, People's Republic ofBarbadosBelarusBelgium, Kingdom ofBelizeBenin, People's Republic ofBermudaBhutan, Kingdom ofBolivia, Republic ofBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswana, Republic ofBouvet Island (Bouvetoya)Brazil, Federative Republic ofBritish Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago)British Virgin IslandsBrunei DarussalamBulgaria, People's Republic ofBurkina FasoBurundi, Republic ofCambodia, Kingdom ofCameroon, United Republic ofCape Verde, Republic ofCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChad, Republic ofChile, Republic ofChina, People's Republic ofChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombia, Republic ofComoros, Union of theCongo, Democratic Republic ofCongo, People's Republic ofCook IslandsCosta Rica, Republic ofCote D'Ivoire, Ivory Coast, Republic of theCyprus, Republic ofCzech RepublicDenmark, Kingdom ofDjibouti, Republic ofDominica, Commonwealth ofEcuador, Republic ofEgypt, Arab Republic ofEl Salvador, Republic ofEquatorial Guinea, Republic ofEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFaeroe IslandsFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Fiji, Republic of the Fiji IslandsFinland, Republic ofFrance, French RepublicFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabon, Gabonese RepublicGambia, Republic of theGeorgiaGermanyGhana, Republic ofGibraltarGreece, Hellenic RepublicGreenlandGrenadaGuadaloupeGuamGuatemala, Republic ofGuinea, Revolutionary People's Rep'c ofGuinea-Bissau, Republic ofGuyana, Republic ofHeard and McDonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)Honduras, Republic ofHong Kong, Special Administrative Region of ChinaHrvatska (Croatia)Hungary, Hungarian People's RepublicIceland, Republic ofIndia, Republic ofIndonesia, Republic ofIran, Islamic Republic ofIraq, Republic ofIrelandIsrael, State ofItaly, Italian RepublicJapanJordan, Hashemite Kingdom ofKazakhstan, Republic ofKenya, Republic ofKiribati, Republic ofKorea, Democratic People's Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwait, State ofKyrgyz RepublicLao People's Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanon, Lebanese RepublicLesotho, Kingdom ofLiberia, Republic ofLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtenstein, Principality ofLithuaniaLuxembourg, Grand Duchy ofMacao, Special Administrative Region of ChinaMacedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascar, Republic ofMalawi, Republic ofMalaysiaMaldives, Republic ofMali, Republic ofMalta, Republic ofMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritania, Islamic Republic ofMauritiusMayotteMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonaco, Principality ofMongolia, Mongolian People's RepublicMontserratMorocco, Kingdom ofMozambique, People's Republic ofMyanmarNamibiaNauru, Republic ofNepal, Kingdom ofNetherlands AntillesNetherlands, Kingdom of theNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaragua, Republic ofNiger, Republic of theNigeria, Federal Republic ofNiue, Republic ofNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorway, Kingdom ofOman, Sultanate ofPakistan, Islamic Republic ofPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanama, Republic ofPapua New GuineaParaguay, Republic ofPeru, Republic ofPhilippines, Republic of thePitcairn IslandPoland, Polish People's RepublicPortugal, Portuguese RepublicPuerto RicoQatar, State ofReunionRomania, Socialist Republic ofRussian FederationRwanda, Rwandese RepublicSamoa, Independent State ofSan Marino, Republic ofSao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic ofSaudi Arabia, Kingdom ofSenegal, Republic ofSerbia and MontenegroSeychelles, Republic ofSierra Leone, Republic ofSingapore, Republic ofSlovakia (Slovak Republic)SloveniaSolomon IslandsSomalia, Somali RepublicSouth Africa, Republic ofSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSpain, Spanish StateSri Lanka, Democratic Socialist Republic ofSt. HelenaSt. Kitts and NevisSt. LuciaSt. Pierre and MiquelonSt. Vincent and the GrenadinesSudan, Democratic Republic of theSuriname, Republic ofSvalbard & Jan Mayen IslandsSwaziland, Kingdom ofSweden, Kingdom ofSwitzerland, Swiss ConfederationSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailand, Kingdom ofTimor-Leste, Democratic Republic ofTogo, Togolese RepublicTokelau (Tokelau Islands)Tonga, Kingdom ofTrinidad and Tobago, Republic ofTunisia, Republic ofTurkey, Republic ofTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUganda, Republic ofUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited Kingdom of Great Britain & N. IrelandUruguay, Eastern Republic ofUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofViet Nam, Socialist Republic ofWallis and Futuna IslandsWestern SaharaYemenZambia, Republic ofZimbabwe

  10 Hits

Free Review:

If you are looking to increase your insurance coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company may require you to obtain a certified auto appraisal.   If you have a custom car, truck or motorcycle, the insurance company won't pay you more than book value. Get a stated value appraisal to cover money spent customizing your vehicle.  Have a collector or exotic vehicle?  Book value does not justify the vehicle value  In case you are in an accident, have a certified auto appraisal done.  Contact us today for a Free Evaluation!

aston martin2 dbs carbon black pinnacle auto appraiser appraisal dimished value

Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Will Professionally Evaluate Your Vehicle!

FLEET VEHICLES:

Pinnacle Auto Appraisers prides itself on quickly handling large amounts of vehicles. We routinely handle fleets for: vans, trucking, limousine, shuttle, buses, SUV, corporate, taxi, dealership, clubs, rental, and delivery companies. We handle large national chains, small family businesses, and car club appraisal(s).

fleet vehicle truck car van bus suv limo limousine rig shuttle pinnacle auto appraiser appraisal dimished value

Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Offers Quality Fleet Appraisals!

Accident:

If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

aston martin3 dbs carbon black pinnacle auto appraiser appraisal dimished value

Let Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Help After A Crash!

CAR CLUBS & REPAIR SHOPS:

Our Appraisers are repair shop and car club fanatics! We enjoy when local and national clubs invite us out to their local gatherings. We offer an appraisal discount that lasted all month. We love everything that has an engine and drives on the road. We do our best to help everyone in need of an appraisal!

car club corvette sport tuner custom pinnacle auto appraiser appraisal dimished value

Pinnacle Auto Appraisers - We Value Car Clubs and Repair Shops!