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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.

Join the discussion

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dhr62 March 24 2014 at 5:07 PM

It's not a secret anymore...

Flag Reply +7 rate up
avonleamom March 24 2014 at 5:56 PM

I can certainly empathize with this family. After 24 years of an RN career, shoulder surgery in October, and now aged 54, I am finding it almost impossible to find a job. I have submitted over 100 online applications for positions that I am qualified for with response to three! Come June, when unemployment runs out, I will be homeless as well. What has this society cpme to?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
Ken avonleamom March 24 2014 at 6:12 PM

Society NO, has nothing to do with it. Politicians, Greed and anti-capitaism. GO look at the politicians you have supported.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
fmott1954 March 24 2014 at 11:00 PM

remember us sends 2 or more bilion dollars to places like seria every year

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Dixie March 24 2014 at 4:29 PM

I hope good karma comes her way.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
shooshit March 24 2014 at 4:28 PM

HOW ABOUT THIS, I worked and took care three kids, yes that was my poor choice,did the best I could with what I had. now I'm homeless and disabled, bad things happen to people all the time in different situations, just because you are o.k, I WAS TAUGHT, you don't kick a man when he is down, because his shoe can someday fit your feet. be quicker to help than to judge...love your follow man....

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
heart2survive shooshit March 24 2014 at 4:39 PM

I am so sorry your in your situation. I think the working poor numbers are growing at an alarming rate. I just retired and much to my horror..well I thought I had planned well...inflation was something I did not anticipate at rate of speed it did. Now, I believe getting a part time job is about all I can do. Who is going to hire a 70 yr old woman? Young people and couples with children need jobs to, and their needs are greater than mine.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
bigblues5418 March 24 2014 at 8:26 PM

now its not hidden is it

Flag Reply +1 rate up
kbalentine March 24 2014 at 11:17 PM

she is trapped becuase she is honest....

the US needs to take care of Americans and stop sending money to countries around the world wehre the people would rather kill us... let's put Americans first.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
cervezabeer March 25 2014 at 12:14 AM

Its crazy, in a country as rich as this and crap like this not only exists , but seems to be growing more and more.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
patricio March 24 2014 at 4:06 PM

Some secrets should be kept. I recently was offered a job as a Catholic School music teacher. Had the Principle known I was homeless he would have not hired me. Keeping my situation of being homeless would have cost me the opportunity to have a job. Who wants a homeless teacher. I wasn't trying to deceive anyone I just wanted a job and the chance to get a place to live.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
vobox3343 patricio March 24 2014 at 5:55 PM

Good luck to you, my dear! Fortunately, you have your music. It can keep you sane in the most difficult of times. And good luck to you. You deserve so much more. Musicians work a lifetime on their craft. Keep the faith!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
emack150 March 24 2014 at 4:36 PM

I understand why.

She could risk her job and her reputation once the wrong people find out her secret.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
pjszymanski emack150 March 24 2014 at 4:53 PM

I don't hold it against her. It isn't her fault. She might even have a good job. Rents and expenses in NYC are just tremendous. Most have to work more than one job just to break even.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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