Home is Where You Park Your Mini Van


Hi Joe, here with a quick note when the pandemic it back in March the team here at Radio, diaries put everything on hold, and we started a new series for the show is called down. Diaries in our goal is to bring you intimate and surprising stories about ordinary life in these extraordinary times. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on grants and listener donations to support our work, but in this case we've had moved fast, and we're producing without a net. So, if you appreciate our show, please consider making a tax deductible donation to support what we do. We recognize this is a tough time for many people. Your donation, no matter how small will help us keep the series going. You can hear all the stories and donate by going to our website. Radio Diaries Dot Org, thanks. Radio is brought to you by progressive. Saving money on your car. Insurance is easy with progressive. An average savings of seven hundred ninety six dollars for customers who switch and save in fact customers can qualify for an average of six discounts on their auto policy with progressive discounts spur starting to quote online or having multiple vehicles on their policy. Get your quote online at progressive. Dot, com and see how much you could be saving national average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with progressive in two thousand nineteen discounts, Berry and are not available in all states and situations. Radio? X from Pierre XS. Radio Topi at this is radio diaries. I'm Joe Richmond. This is episode. Four of our new series hunkered down diaries stories about ordinary life in extraordinary times. Today the show home is where you park your many. NATO von Sixty seven years old. She's a retired school bus driver into recently furloughed from her part time job at a rental car company back in March. As the pandemic it native found herself without a home and without a job for the past few months, while most people have been sheltering in their homes. She's been living in her car on the streets Portland Oregon. Knit has been keeping an audio diary of experience being newly homeless. This is her story. Good Morning. This is Neda. It's Wednesday at eight forty five. And I'm sitting in my minivan. I have. Everything but the driver and passenger window in the front wind chill. Blacked out with insulating material that. Gives me a lot of privacy. I'm pulling out my in plastic jurors finding clean clothes. Can openly ban door. Let the sunlight and. So the third week of March, I think it was the governor of Oregon. started talking about lockdown. Warnings on the news, but the social distancing, but to be honest. My mind just wasn't there. My mind was on where to park for the night and feel safe. My first night sleeping in my car. By drove around I, did find a road in the industrial area and. This is one of the places I spend a lot of my time. It's a two lane street that's completely lined both sides with people living in their cars and their views and trailers. We? Really haven't interacted or talked or anything, but we kind of. Not Our acknowledgement of each other. There is one man that I feel really sorry for because. Sometimes, he just starts yelling and screaming. As if there's someone in the car with them, but I can see that. There's no one in the car. I just hate to. See someone struggling like that. I usually just leave early in the morning. To, stop the bank and get some cash. I used to work for Avis. Rent a car in Portland, but because of the corona virus. They put everyone on furlough. I feel like I. Don't look like a homeless person. I have a nicer car and. I always make sure I'm clean in nicely dressed. Because of the pandemic, almost solid, the public restrooms close so I go to a grocery store and use the restrooms. Try to wash up. Okay. I'm going to do a U-TURN. The street. It's one forty four PM. I, am at the place called every day. Deal for Digest. Call it the green, fair. It's just the. Big. Green building. This is the hard part mask makes my glasses cloud over. Giving you? I don't let myself panic about the possibility of getting the virus, but I take the necessary precautions. You know they want people to wear masks, but People on the street. They're not likely to have any money to buy them and hand sanitizer. Impossible to find for at least a month. I. Don't know how. are expected to stay clean. Who Live on the streets? I always look for foods that don't need to be refrigerated for very long. I thought I would be able to do. More? Cooking for myself, but sometimes it's such an ordeal to set up. Just easier to to drive through Burger King or something. Just one of those people that is constantly you moving to a new place. not necessarily willingly, but. It's just the way my life has gone. My grew up in poverty single mom. I, remember. We were always on the move always. Moving to a new place. At I feel like I'm still doing that now. I had been living with my adult son in his house, and he's always had a temper, but. He has become increasingly. Violent towards. Me and. I knew I had to get out. May, only other option was to try to live with my daughter, but she doesn't have a spare room and it would mean I would be living in the kitchen nook. And I'm not comfortable with that. It's hard for me to feel like a burden. Yeah, mccurdy. I'm sitting next to my daughter, Laura. We are sitting in the starbucks parking lot. We've been talking about. My situation. Still. How long do you think you can keep living in your car? I can probably last through September. After that I don't know if my car would be insulated enough for me to really live in it through the winter. Yeah. my concerns are just for your safety. I don't WanNa. See you get taken advantage of. Eating broken into in your car in. Our, just like to have you stay in our house. I guess. One of the things I worry about that. I. have. Problems between you and John. Well I. Guess the whole situation with my husband. We have our own issues in our marriage. You know we're not on the brink of devotion, nothing but. I don't want you to be. Yeah me any more attention to right. I can understand that. But I guess. The hard part was seeing how your car was. Set up in the bed in your I. Just really that's when it hit me like. What kind of daughter am I? I'm. Letting, you live in your car. May intention is that we can find a place where you can feel like you have your own home. I won't be able to help you find that. Yeah, ME, too. Thank you know when you get a w? Eight fifty four PM. Returned to my. Overnight spot where I parked most nights. The Sun has gone down and it's raining. I'm about ready to go to bed. I just realized. I forget to take my. Vitamins earlier. It was hard the first few days. Just living in my van worrying what's going to happen? What am I going to do? But I remind myself that. Is probably not going to be that bad. I have social security and a small pension. 'cause I drove a school bus. And so. I have money saved a few thousand dollars. I've been looking at finding an apartment or something. Or even. Mobile home. Nearby. I know that my situation is going to be temporary. I just take it one day at a time. My last vitamin. Okay! Good night. Nov.. We know. saw. Oo. Thanks to NATO von in Portland Oregon for recording her audio diary. The story is produced by Nelly Gillis with help from Sarah Kate. Kramer and me or editors are George Ben Shapiro. Radio dyers radio, Topa a listener supported network Pierre wrecks. In the coming weeks we'll be bringing you stories about funeral directors on the frontline. What it's like to be in lockdown when you're locked up and the toll of the pandemic on a pizzeria. These stories will be airing on NPR and here on the podcast. I'm Joe. Richman. We'll be back soon with another. Hunker down diary. Probably know radio dyers is a proud member of Radio Tokyo from Pierre Rex. A collection of the best podcasts around in Radio Toby has a newsletter that features all of the shows in our network. It's called the citizen, a monthly collection of episodes upcoming events and podcasts news from radio topiary shows. Keep up with all things radio topiary and subscribe at Radio Toby. Dot FM slash newsletter. That's Radio Tokyo Dot FM. New Letter. Radio. Acts.

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