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Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County

by J. Money on Monday, July 26, 2010

Homeless Motel Kids Documentary
Check out this documentary premiering tonight. Crazy!

HOMELESS: THE MOTEL KIDS OF ORANGE COUNTY explores the world of children who reside in discounted motels within walking distance of Disneyland, living in limbo as their families struggle to survive in one of the wealthiest regions of America. The parents of motel kids are often hard workers who don’t earn enough to own or rent homes. As a result, they continue to live week-to-week in motels, hoping against hope for an opportunity that might allow them to move up in the O.C.

Comes on TONIGHT at 9pm/8C on HBO. Watch it and then tell us what you think! I really really hope I remember to turn it on. (I’ll be coming back from a Happy Hour…which, after posting this up sounds kinda wasteful, doesn’t it?)


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 finallygettingtoeven.com July 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Hey thanks! I find this kind of stuff interesting and it drives hubby nuts when I watch it-so I’ll be watching it for sure!

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2 Serendipity July 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I really hope I remember to turn this on as well. It looks good! I love HBO documentries.

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3 Evan July 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I don’t get HBO, but I always wonder….why stay? Depending on where they are working or what the parents are doing…why live in OC?

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4 Sense July 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

OMG, this is so sad! I mean, better than being homeless, but sheesh, my family barely survived living in one hotel room together for 3 days when we visited disneyland! i can’t handle sad things like this–hardworking people who can’t seem to get a break. My heart just shatters. I’m sure I would cry if I watched it, and I hate feeling like a sap. I’m sticking with the Housewives of OC and letting you tell me about it via a post later. :)

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5 myfinancialobjectives July 27, 2010 at 11:09 am

You’re right, that looks like an awesome program. I don’t get HBO either, but I must agree with Evan. Why stay? I have often wondered that about people who I hear about in tough positions.

A good way I remember to do stuff, multiple alarms on my cell phone. Just set one for 8:50PM tonight!

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6 Leslie July 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

To those of you asking “why stay?”, I had a discussion about this over the weekend (nothing to do with the show, have never heard of it before). All of my friends here grew up in the #4 highest income county (by median household income) in the country. Most of their family’s can well afford to live there but some cannot. When a friend described her living situation growing up, I asked why her parents did not move to an area they could afford more comfortably. She replied, “To give us kids more opportunities.”

The local high school’s teachers knew that 95% of students were going onto college and prepared them for that. College recruiters would often come to the school. There were more resources than a lower income area and the school could offer more extracurricular activities, specific classes and better teachers (in the family’s opinion). These types of opportunities to enrich and improve their children’s lives was worth the sacrifices they made to stay in the area.

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7 Stephanie July 28, 2010 at 7:09 am

For those asking WHY STAY? What other city or county has a school that provides breakfast and lunch, clothing and anything you need for free. I went to Project Hope. I stayed because they helped me OUT.. I felt like i belonged where another school I basically wasnt. What other city or county offers school for homeless where they are not teased or insulted all day everyday. You tell me.

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8 Lou July 28, 2010 at 8:05 am

To those asking “Why stay?” Also remember that moving is very expensive. If you’re living hand-to-mouth, how are you going to save up a security deposit and first/last months’ rent? Maybe you’ve got all your earthly possessions in a storage facility, so you’re paying for that too. Maybe your job pays very little, but it’s stable and you’re not sure if you can find one in a less expensive area. Even without kids and schools to worry about, there are lots of reasons why a person may become stuck in a rut like this.

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9 Holly @ Shopaholly July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm

This looks fascinating! I wish there was a way I could watch it over here in the UK.

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10 J. Money July 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Did anyone here watch it?! I wasn’t able to and I really REALLY wanna check it out! I’m sure it’ll be on repeat here shortly (I haven’t had a chance to check out their web page yet to see), but if anyone sees it let us know :)

Thanks for all the insight you all are sharing too! I know I can try and envision what it would be like and ask the same types of questions myself (WHY not move?,etc) but even armed w/ all the knowledge I’d still be totally out of line thinking I understand. Homelessness is no joke man.

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11 danielle July 29, 2010 at 6:06 pm

My mom was a teacher in the Anaheim Union High School District for almost 30 years and just retired. Some of her kids would come and go intermittently, sometimes because the parents had to shuffle them between motels or family members’ homes. Some of the kids’ parents are drug addicts, in jail, not in their lives, or abusive/neglecting.

But there are also others whose parents just can’t afford a better living situation for them. I totally agree that low income parents who live in compacted areas like Anaheim do struggle to put food on the table so their kids can go to good schools and be where opportunity is. My mom has bought her kids shoes before, and about every 1-2 months I give my mom bags and bags of clothes for her kids, either clothes that I’m giving away, or clothes I collect from friends and co-workers. It’s a sad situation, but it would be so much worse if these parents moved their families out to Barstow or Riverside where there is also a chance they would be in the same predicament but probably worse off since there is less chance for them to make money and lower quality schools.

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12 J. Money July 31, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Thanks so much for sharing Danielle! Your mom is an angel :)

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