When Elizabeth Jay tallies up her living expenses each month, they come to about $700. That doesn't include rent, because Jay is homeless: she lives in her van.
Jay told RadioActive's Sarah Rosenthal that she pays $118 for car insurance on her 15-year-old Dodge Ram minivan. She pays $150 on cell phone service for her and her daughter. She pays for a gym membership so she has access to a shower. She even pays dues to her synagogue, though not as much as she used to.
When Jay moved into her van last year, she moved just about everything she owned into storage. So she pays $159 to hold on to her old furniture too, hoping that eventually she'll have an apartment to move into.
All of that costs Jay about $500. Add on about $200 for food, and that's $700 a month for Jay to be homeless.
Elizabeth Jay has a part-time job, but most of her paycheck goes to pay her daughter's college tuition. You can hear that side of her story here: