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Silver Monarch

Posts: 1,653


May 28 10 7:59 PM

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A tough but powerful 60 Minutes segment about homeless people in Florida, with a focus on families that are getting by in cars...

If you were rushing to work this morning, in Seminole County, Florida, it's not likely you'd notice the truck or hear the children getting ready for school.

Arielle Metzger: In the clear bin, we have dirty laundry. In that one, there's tools that we might need.

Scott Pelley: All these bank bags are storage of this and that.

Arielle Metzger: Like shampoo....

Austin Metzger: And over here is food.

Arielle Metzger: Food.

Pelley: So, you're really not heating up food so much. You're eating out of cans?

Arielle Metzger: Yup.

This is the home of the Metzger family. Arielle,15. Her brother Austin, 13. Their mother died when they were very young. Their dad, Tom, is a carpenter. And, he's been looking for work ever since Florida's construction industry collapsed. When foreclosure took their house, he bought the truck on Craigslist with his last thousand dollars. Tom's a little camera shy - thought we ought to talk to the kids - and it didn't take long to see why.

Pelley: How long have you been living in this truck?

Arielle Metzger: About five months.

Pelley: What's that like?

Arielle Metzger: It's an adventure.

Austin Metzger: That's how we see it.

Pelley: When kids at school ask you where you live, what do you tell 'em?

Austin Metzger: When they see the truck they ask me if I live in it, and when I hesitate they kinda realize. And they say they won't tell anybody.

Arielle Metzger: Yeah it's not really that much an embarrassment. I mean, it's only life. You do what you need to do, right?

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Posts: 290

#2 [url]

Jul 3 10 6:40 PM

We lived in our minivan for six months of last year, from January to June.  Sometimes life is hard, but you do what you can to get by.  What is helpful is for folks to make donations of goods and services to places that are providing care.  

We are doing much better now, have a nice tiny apartment and I have five part time jobs to try to pay rent and such.  Life is pretty good.  


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Illustrious Alchemist

Posts: 792

#3 [url]

Jul 3 10 6:48 PM

to bad building codes are everywhere,
if they could build a shack then they would likely be better off than living in a car,
right now I am stuck in a crappy place and would love to live in a shack, it would be so much nicer,
but building codes have many people living no where when they could be way happier somewhere junky

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Tin Warrior

Posts: 157

#4 [url]

Jul 15 10 2:52 AM

Been there, done that.  Warm climates like Florida are a breeze to live out of your car or van.  It is really like camping but the mosquitos are a bother in Florida.  I was homeless for many (6) years in Malibu, CA and (1 yr) Phoenix, AZ and lived in a car and later a VW Bus.  I read allot, learned abit of surfing which saved my life,  and was friends with a few other homeless families on the beach. 

Feel bad for the homeless in the other 85% of the country that have freezing cold during their winters.  Living underground in sewers or in improvised shelters during freezing cold winters is truly harsh and difficult for the homeless in these parts of the US.

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Silver Monarch

Posts: 4,694

#5 [url]

Jul 15 10 10:57 PM

I'm currently homeless in Southern Cal(by choice). Have enough money to get a place, but my health is poor and I want a cash reserve so I can do other things. Echo ante's comments. Southern Cal weather is the best in the country. Unfortunately much of the populace, particularly where I'm at in the "Inland Empire" leaves a lot to be desired. Humidity in Florida is the real killer, plus the economy is terrible. No heavy industry and a state largely dependent on tourism which has gone south since the economy tanked.

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#6 [url]

Jul 16 10 2:32 AM

Annnnddddd, meanwhile Scott Pelley probably makes over a million a year... 

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