Photographer Lucy Nicholson documented the plight of Benita Guzman, 40, and her niece Angelica Cervantes, 36, who are homeless with eleven children between them. They stick together in an effort to keep their children together as a family, and not taken away and separated in foster homes. Nicholson found the family after they had been staying on a campsite for three weeks. The family could no longer afford a rental van to ferry the kids to school so had to leave the camp find a cheap motel room for the night, so the children could walk to school. The family is part of a disturbing trend. One in 45 children, totalling 1.6 million, is homeless, the highest number in United States history, according to a 2011 study by the National Center on Family Homelessness. Children who are homeless are more likely to suffer from acute and chronic medical illnesses, finds the study. They go hungry at twice the rate of other children. They have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems, such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems, withdrawal, and aggression. California is ranked the fifth highest state in the nation for its percentage of homeless children.
Angelica Cervantes packs up tents in the campground in Santa Paula
Benita Guzman and her niece eat breakfast in Port Hueneme.
Angelica Cervantes checks into a motel in Port Hueneme.
Benita Guzman takes her belongings into a motel in Port Hueneme.
Melinda Guzman, Tomas Cervantes and Preciosa Cervantes play in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Preciosa Guzman tries to reach a box of snacks in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Angelica Cervantes and her son Tomas Cervantes sit in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Francisco Gona does his homework as his brother Tomas Cervantes lies in bed in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Preciosa Guzman takes a shower in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Melinda Guzman sits in the corner of in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
The Cervantes family in a motel room in Port Hueneme.

Angelica Cervantes llies on the bed in a motel room with her daughter in Port Hueneme.
Tomas Cervantes lies on a bed in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Melinda Guzman lies in the corner of in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Angelica Cervantes' children sleep in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Benita Guzman drops her niece's children at school in Port Hueneme.
Melinda Guzman walks into her school in Port Hueneme.
Angelica Cervantes and her family watch television in a motel room in Port Hueneme.
Benita Guzman cries as she stands in a campground in Santa Paula.
Richard Guzman stands by the tents in Santa Paula.
Angelica Cervantes cleans up the campground in Santa Paula.
Angelica Cervantes holds her head as she stands in the campground in Santa Paula.
Richard Guzman lies on piles of clothes and blankets in Santa Paula.
Melinda Guzman and Alma Cervantes play in the campground in Santa Paula.
A child's picture of star constellations is seen on the ground of the campground in Santa Paula.
Angelica Cervantes sits in the campground in Santa Paula.
Angelica Cervantes sits in the campground in Santa Paula.
Benita Guzman puts possessions in a storage locker in Port Hueneme.
The feet of Benita Guzman are pictured as she eats breakfast after dropping her children at school in Port Hueneme. 


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Posted by Fiona Tuesday, March 13, 2012

16 comments

  1. Anonymous Says:
  2. 11 kids between the two of them?!?
    I have rabbits that have fewer offspring!
    Sorry, I'm not feeling very compassionate to their plight since nowhere on earth can you expect to raise 11 kids without huge income, or huge government transfers from the productive.
    Luckily our imminent economic collapse will affect this group of parasites first, THEN THEY WILL LEARN TO HAVE AS MANY AS THEY CAN AFFORD.

     
  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. These women need a man to work for them!

     
  5. katz Says:
  6. I realize that this sounds cruel, but what on earth are these women thinking to have so many kids, when they cannot afford to take care of themselves, much less others? It makes me so mad.

    Plus, how dare they have so many kids, when they obviously have no marketable skills? That is so selfish.

    When I had my child, I had to work. I had no government help for my daycare bills, or for my babysitter when I was at work. That is why I only have ONE child, today. I would have loved to have more children, but I knew that I could not afford more daycare costs, and I knew that I had to work. So, why is it if I get cheated of more children, and have worked all my life and paid taxes, that people like this think it's OK to bring kids into the world that they have no concern over providing basic human needs for???

    This article does not make me feel sad for these women, and makes me think all these kids need to be taken away from these women now, bc even if they are separated, at least they are not homeless and hungry and at such a gross disadvantage.

    Plus, I hope that none of these women gets ONE DOLLAR of my tax money to support their horrific breeding ability.

     
  7. katz Says:
  8. and another thing, that dirty footed woman has a nice pedicure.... that really makes me mad, bc she is not any less vain, and makes her more disgusting.

     
  9. Dave Mowers Says:
  10. All so some fukwads on Wall Street can buy another car, another boat, another house, another watch, another plane, another suit and on and on endlessly. Criminals need to be put in friggen jail or straight murdered for ruining the American economy. Those people are worse than terrorists.

     
  11. Anonymous Says:
  12. I really feel bad for them and pray that the good Lord help them.
    Question for the family, where are the dads? how many are they? and if the family ever heard of birth control?

    God Bless

     
  13. Anonymous Says:
  14. thank god they can make babies so theyre homeless but not alone !

     
  15. Anonymous Says:
  16. ey ! when those kids are old enough to work and get a job they be set !

     
  17. Anonymous Says:
  18. Eleven kids, check
    no dads, check
    Gee and they are homeless now, how shocking.
    Even if they where making a decent wage it would be next to impossible to support all these kids. They made bad decision in their lives and now they are paying for them. Sure the economy is partially to blame here but come one no one forced them to have that many kids. This seems to be the norm with many poor people these days. And I'm pretty damn sure that they are at least on welfare. I do feel bad for the kids but not for the two moms. Don't spit out kids left and right and then expect the rest of us to support them. They are your problem so deal with it.

     
  19. Anonymous Says:
  20. This has nothing to do with the economy. This is about personal responsibility. Do not have children you can't afford to support, especially if you are a single mom. I don't feel sorry for them.

     
  21. Anonymous Says:
  22. This plight should be brought to the attention of our Governor, who supposedly champions the 'Rights' of females, and the advancement of minorites. Perhaps one day in the distant future, people like this will FINALLY determine that liberal 'concern' for their welfare merely translates into votes, then abandonment. If our economy would be 'allowed' by liberals to weed out the undesirables/illegals/incompetents and malcontents, there would be much more work to go around. Instead, the people of California have embraced the concept of socialism, and it's attendant propogation of expensive and onerous liberal restrictions on businesses and society. The poor are in a transient state of denial, believing government cures all. In fact, government CREATES the poor! Here are two sayings you can take to the bank, so to speak:

    Society is failing because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by the people who VOTE for a living.

    Capitalism enslaves one to his or her own ambitions. Socialism enslaves society to the government's ambitions (And the government can get pretty 'ambitious'.....)

     
  23. Anonymous Says:
  24. Nice Iphone.

     
  25. Anonymous Says:
  26. The worse is yet to come & it's too late for Americans to wake up!The Bankers & FEDS are living good..

     
  27. Anonymous Says:
  28. larouchepac dot com ---- can save you time.

     
  29. Anonymous Says:
  30. Anonymous said: "The [worst] is yet to come & it's too late for Americans to wake up! The Bankers & FEDS are living good.." THIS IS 100% CORRECT. The Economic Collapse will be in FULL-SWING, and Americans will NOT awaken, UNTIL the price of gas goes over $6 per gallon (it's already over $5, in D.C.), and UNTIL - the THEY FEEL THE EFFECTS OF THE ECONOMY, PERSONALLY. ONLY when a significant majority, begins to be affected, PERSONALLY, will you begin to see Americans 'awaken'. They don't care, until it affects them, personally.

     
  31. Anonymous Says:
  32. I'm 36 and have only 1 kid despite living in Kenya where people love breeding like rats.

     

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