By Sylvia Gonzalez
ODESSA - No one should have to be forced to live in their car but that's the reality for a 49-year-old woman and her 79-year-old mother. With a combined income of around $1,500 a month, the pair fell into hard times when the place they once called home doubled their rent.
"I want a place to stay for me and my mother. A safe place to stay where we can lay down, get baths and eat," Homeless woman, Nena Flanagin, said.
The lives of 49-year-old Nena and her 79-year-old mother Aline Flanagin have been turned upside down for the past eight days. They used to live at Lincoln Tower, a senior living housing facility but when their rent nearly doubled from $1,500 to $2,400, they could no longer afford to live there. Now, they have a new place they call home.
"In my little mini van and it's not running very well at all. I had to get my car out of the shop, it was running hot. It uses up a lot of gas so we have to just go where it's necessity for us to go and back," Flanagin said.
Flanagin says when she approached Lincoln Tower about the rent hike, they weren't helpful at all.
"They said this is a business you either have to pay your rent or get out," Flanagin said.
They have been homeless for a week and they have already seen the ugly side of not having a roof over their heads.
"It's rough. We had a couple of guys come in and they weren't so nice and we were scared to death, we don't have anything to protect ourselves with. My little dog ran them off. They were just gonna take advantage of the situation," Flanagin said.
Aline says she never imagined being in her 80's and being homeless.
"No, no this is a first it took me, 80 years to get there, but is a first. I would take vacations and we've been in cars traveling but never happen to live in one it's different," Aline said.
Nena says they took with them the bare necessities like their 12 oxygen tanks. She says she knows its unsafe to be driving around with them in the van, but for now, her van is the only place she can call home.
NewsWest 9 went to Lincoln Tower to try and get some answers and they referred us to their corporate office. They never returned our calls.