Education

Homeless Youth Face Another Problem, Virtual Classes

"The only thing I would like is to have a place to be with my two girls, and to be a family as before."

During the pandemic, thousands of students continue to struggle and forced to take their classes online, but for students who are homeless, the problems are even bigger.

That is the case of a mother and her daughter who live in extreme poverty and even such simple things, like plugging in their school computer are complicated if there is no electricity.

On 103rd Street in Watts, in front of a church, there is a “camper,” and that is where Silvia Valencia and her youngest daughter live, who said they have been there after getting evicted.

"The lady who rented to us asked us for the room because she did not want to have me there because my daughter was already of legal age and did not want her there, and all this was when the pandemic was happening, and she kicked us out during that time," Valencia said.

Valencia came to the U.S. more than 20 years ago and said that she and her two daughters were unexpected.

"My two daughters are born here, one is 19 and the other is 14," said Valencia.

"I felt a little bad about everything that was happening, that my mother worked hard to get us ahead, and then she couldn't," said Mariana Valencia, Silvia's youngest daughter.

The eldest daughter was forced to live with another family.

"She talks to me and she talks to me crying, I miss you," Valencia said.

Mrs. Valencia and Mariana have lived in the camper for approximately two months and pay $350 in rent.

The small space has a bathroom and a bed, a kitchen and another bed for Mrs. Valencia, and there is no electricity or drinking water.

And within the limited space is where Mariana spends most of the day, trying to complete her virtual classes because they don't have light.

Valencia suffers from a heart condition and low blood pressure, and circumstances do not help her, but from time to time good Samaritans arrive with basic products.

"[Here is] a box with rice, beans, pasta," said José Antonio Benavides, Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Valencia appreciates the help, but her greatest wish is to once again be a family under one roof.

"The only thing I would like is to have a place to be with my two girls, and to be a family as before."

"Find a place where we can be both well, without having to worry about anything, because it is the only thing I have left, my mother," said Valencia's daughter.

Mrs. Valencia said that she is surviving thanks to the unemployment benefits her eldest daughter is receiving.

Our sister station Telemundo 52 contacted the office of supervisor Mark Riddley-Thomas to ask if there was any kind of help for the Valencia family and are currently investigating the matter.

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