Homeless teen loses possessions in motel fire

Updated 6/30/11 with information about how to help below

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Hidden among the souvenir shops on the road to Disney World are Florida's new homeless. 500 children live in some 67 motels along the strip; so many that during the school year buses come to pick them up every morning. CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports their parents are among the millions who lost jobs in the great recession.

"We were trying to get out of there," said 17-year-old Jonathan Davis, "But the place is hard to get out of."

Davis and his family earned just enough money to pay the hotel bill at the Vacation Lodge Motel in Kissimmee.

A fire burned their temporary home to the ground. It turned everything he and his family had left in the world to ash.

Robert Lamb, Jonathan's stepfather, said, "you think this ain't ever going to happen to you and when it does happen, what are you going to do you know? Hurts you know? Hurts bad. You just worry about your kids."

60 Minutes: Homeless children: the hard times generation

We first told you about these families back in March on 60 Minutes. After they lost their jobs, people like David and Theresa Corffee and their three children counted themselves lucky to move out of their minivan and into a motel.

12-year-old Destiny was worried. She described the neighborhood around the motel as "scary."

"You hear about it on the news all the time, shootings, and it's all right there," she said.

The day after the fire at the Vacation Lodge Motel, friends collected bags full of clothes and toys for Jonathan Davis and his family.

He works part time to help make ends meet, and saved enough to buy a laptop computer for school. It, along with all of his school books and his work uniform are gone.

"About all you can do is try, hope for the best," Davis said. "I mean nothing else you can do after that."

They'll start over in yet another motel like hundreds of families on the road to Disney World - two rooms for a family of six.

How you can help:

Get in touch with the Davis family by emailing the school district Elizabeth Lane, Director of Social Works for Osceola School District

Casselberry Community Task Force

Hard Times Generation: How you can help

Families in Transition


Feeding America