PORTLAND, Ore. -- The numbers are hard to come by, but the evidence is nearly impossible to miss.
Homeless advocates in the Portland area say it’s clear that more families with young children and babies are without a permanent place to sleep.
Blake and Mysti Moser call it “an epidemic,” one that’s kept them on the streets with their 18-month-old son Gabriel since September.
That’s when Blake lost his job and the couple got evicted from their apartment.
They quickly learned they preferred begging on the corner for motel money to sleeping in a shelter.
“You get your stuff stolen. You get your wipes stolen, especially if it's a family shelter. Your kids get lice,” he said.
And they’re not the only ones.
“This could be anybody's story in a minute,” said ‘Abby.’
The 43-year-old woman, who didn’t want to give her real name, knows the problem all too well.
She’s safe now, staying in a recovery house in Beaverton, run by Union Gospel Mission.
Before that, she, her 6-year-old daughter and her 16-year-old stepdaughter slept on friends’ couches and in backyards.
The trouble started more than a year ago when Abby lost her job, was diagnosed with breast cancer and then got evicted from her apartment.
“You try to seek help in hotels if you can't seem to find an apartment. You've got bad credit history because you've been for years just struggling with paying bills,” she said. “When it's between feeding your children or keeping a roof over your head, those bills are going to, you're just going to ignore them.”
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