Nicole Jones is the single mother of two kids living in one of America’s wealthiest zip codes: Silicon Valley, California. Nicole is a bartender and makes good money serving the wealthy employees of Apple, Google, and other tech companies that have been taking over the area for years.
Currently, Nicole and her two kids are living in a one-car garage for $1,000 a month. It’s a cramped space for the family of three, but it was the best option Nicole could find, after spending $750 on application fees searching for other apartments.
The family had to leave their spacious apartment in the Valley because the cost of rent had skyrocketed. Tech company employees, searching for housing, have sent local rent into the stratosphere, with the average rent for the area hitting just over $3,000 a month.
Even with her solid, steady job, Nicole could no longer afford to pay that rent (as well as for her kids care, groceries, and other expenses) on her salary alone. The family was consequently forced to move, searching for months before settling into the one-car garage.
While it does sound like an unconventional space, the garage is surprisingly nice inside! The space fits Nicole’s large Queen bed, an entertainment area with a flat-screen TV, a small bathroom, and a little kitchen area. The family has a mini-fridge for food storage and cooks their meals inside a microwave and toaster oven.
“Honestly, I always 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,” Jones told CBS. “I work and make decent money when I’m working. I think part of the reason why I became homeless is because finding work and day care and transportation and everything just combined made it impossible for me to keep a roof over our head.”
Friends, family, and strangers have been encouraging Nicole to leave the area for somewhere more affordable, but Nicole’s rebuttal is that moving to a different area would be extremely difficult with her children. Undoubtedly, both of her kids have friends and lives, and their mother cannot stand the thought of tearing them away from that because of this situation.
What do you think of the garage living situation?
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