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Woman 'secretly' lives in homeless shelter

Woman 'Secretly' Lives in Homeless Shelter
Saquana, a 32-year-old mom, wakes up every morning in a homeless shelter with her two children. That's a fact she usually likes to keep hidden from co-workers.



'There have been situations where I didn't want anyone to know where I got off the train because everyone knows that area, everyone knows that building,' she told 'TODAY.'

As 'TODAY' notes, if you walked past Saquana on the street, you probably wouldn't guess she woke up in a homeless shelter. She's trying to hide the fact she and her kids have been without permanent shelter since April, despite Saquana's efforts to hold a job.

Saquana is one of 53,000 people currently seeking refuge in homeless shelters across New York. But the number of homeless people with jobs is growing.

REPORTER: 'Are a lot of the people you are staying with at the shelter working while they're in the shelter?'
SAQUANA: 'Most people are working.'

Saquana's story highlights issues related to poverty in New York. According to The New York Times, census data shows the poverty rate rose to 21.2 percent in 2012. It also notes the face of the low-wage worker has transformed over the years.

Before, it was common to believe teens were the ones receiving minimum wage. However, it's now more common to see those 25 or older making just $9 or less an hour. They're also more educated.

According to the Coalition for the Homeless, the number of people without shelter in New York has reached the highest level since the 1930s. As of 2013, more than 12,000 families and nearly 23,000 children slept in shelters each night.

As for Saquana, she's hopeful about the future. She says she wants to get back on her feet to support herself and her children.


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