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More Americans Are Living in Their Cars Due to High Housing Costs

As CBS News reports, the number of people who live in their cars because they can't find affordable housing is on the rise with the problem increasing in cities with expensive housing markets, including Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco. This problem is one Volunteers of America Illinois and Volunteers of America, Dakotas are all too familiar with.

For the youth and veterans who turn to Volunteers of America Illinois for help, perhaps one-third of their clients, said Airielle Macool-Cunningham, manager of veteran's support services, have lived in their cars.

"People don't consider themselves to be living in their car if they are only doing it for a couple of nights here and there, and so they are not self-reporting that," she said. "Since our climate is a lot colder, they don't typically stay in their cars long term unless it's the summer months."

Stephanie Monroe, managing director of Children Youth & Family Services at Volunteers of America, Dakotas, tells a similar story. At least 25 percent of their Sioux Falls clients have lived in their vehicles at some point, even during winter's sub-freezing temperatures.

"Many of our communities don't have formal shelter services," she said in an interview. "It can lead to individuals resorting to living in their cars or other vehicles."

Learn More About Volunteers of America's Services
Services for the Homeless
Affordable Housing
Veterans