Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars

Scott Pelley brings "60 Minutes" cameras back to central Florida to document another form of family homelessness: kids and their parents forced to live in cars

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The money she had for Jade's family lasted only a month - so the Wileys, and Jade, are painting the rest of the motel in exchange for a room. But this is rare. Of all the homeless families in Florida, two-thirds are living on the street.

Beth Davalos: I hear about it every week, every couple of days. If they're not living in their car right now, they are avoiding it. Some of them don't even have cars to live in. Or they recently got out of it.

Pelley: Why is it happening right now?

Beth Davalos: The longevity of homelessness continues to rise, so people are running out of resources. The unemployment runs out. Their savings run out. The family that lent them money does not have it anymore 'cause they're looking at economic hardship. And before you know it they find themselves living in their car because they ran out of all options.

Earlier this year, when folks heard about the homeless students in central Florida, four million dollars in donations poured in. Beth Davalos set up food banks in 41 Seminole County schools; they gathered up clothing for the kids and shelled out cash for motel rooms.

Four million is a lot of money, but think of this: of all the families without shelter in America, one third are in Florida. At Casselberry School, we sat down with the Coates family.

Victoria Coates: Instead of three meals a day we ended up doin' two meals a day. And then there was this one day where we didn't have any more money and that's how we ended up in the car.

Last year, the Coates left Washington, D.C., for a new life in Florida but the jobs dried up. When the savings went, Victoria and D'Angelo learned how to be homeless. They found out there's a checklist for living in a car. You want security, lighting, a place where you might be welcome or at least a place busy enough to hide in. Walmart lots can be good - it depends on the manager, YMCAs mostly look the other way. D'Angelo settled outside a hospital emergency room.

D'Angelo Coates: And we knew that through bein' there we could at least brush our teeth in the morning, go to the bathroom if we need to in the middle of the night. And I'm sitting on the cooler in between our vehicle and another vehicle just to make sure they're okay.

Pelley: Standing guard all night.

D'Angelo Coates: Yup.

Pelley: D'Angelo, what does a man think about, sitting on a cooler all night with his family in the car next to him?

D'Angelo Coates: At that moment, I guess I feel less than a dad. I guess, I guess I can say or as a husband. Because I'm not able to provide for my family.

Victoria Coates: Going into that car really did something to me. I felt helpless. I felt like I couldn't help my children.

Pelley: I am willing to bet that the whole time you were in the car you didn't cry once, did you?

Victoria Coates: Unh-unh.

Pelley: Not in front of these guys.

Pelley: When it came time to put the girls in school, the school must have asked you for an address.

Victoria Coates: Well you have these boxes to choose and you had one that said shelter.

Pelley: You checked the shelter box?

Victoria Coates: Yeah.

Pelley: There was no box for car?

Victoria Coates: No.