34ºF

Growing homeless trend: Living in cars

DETROIT – Pointing to an old coffee can in the back of her SUV Gayle McEachin calls it her emergency bathroom.    She also keeps her medications and food supplies in her car as well.   With the weather this cold her cottage cheese, liverwurst and bread stay fresh – or as fresh as they can in a car.

McEachin says "I'm living in luxury compared to most of these people."  She is referering to the growing homeless situation in MacombCounty.  She has been living inside her car the past six months, after a divorce , a foreclosed home, and loss of money she says she had no where to turn.

McEachin says, "We don't have much here in Macomb County, 30 days in one shelter a year."

McEachin is on a list for housing but the need is much more than the supply.  It's easy to see that the day we talked to McEachin in one WalMart parking lot we saw another car filled with belongings.  She called them her neighbor in the parking lot.

Days go by slow, nights even slower for the Macomb County woman. "You don't really ever sleep, you are always tired, you hear the car doors slam, the people wake up and you pray you make it through the day."

After meeting McEachin The Defenders made some calls, and in a few days her dreams came true.  She was given an apartment through the Community Housing Network. Her utilities are also partially paid thanks to a federal grant.  

McEaching is both physically and mentally disabled and this gift of a roof over her heard is something she said she has been praying for for months.  

Once she is settled she promises to give back she says you can't forget those you are less fortunate than you.