Family
4:40 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Homeless Mom: It Costs $700 A Month To Live In A Van

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.

"Every time I'm warm enough, I appreciate it. When I've had enough to eat, I'm grateful for it. And you know, sometimes I'm mad at God too." - Elizabeth Jay

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:

Sarah Rosenthal's interview with Elizabeth Jay.