Homeless family in America

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. [28 photos total]

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1
Angelica Cervantes packs up tents in the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
2
Melinda Guzman's Therapeutic Behavioral Services certificate is seen on the ground of the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
3
Richard Guzman lies on piles of clothes and blankets in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
4
Angelica Cervantes cleans her nails in the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
5
Angelica Cervantes holds her head as she stands in the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
6
A child's picture of star constellations is seen on the ground of the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
7
Angelica Cervantes sits in the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
8
Melinda Guzman and Alma Cervantes play in the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
9
Angelica Cervantes sits in the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
10
Benita Guzman puts possessions in a storage locker in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
11
The feet of Benita Guzman are pictured as she eats breakfast after dropping her children at school in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
12
Benita Guzman and her niece eat breakfast in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
13
Angelica Cervantes checks into a motel in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
14
Benita Guzman takes her belongings into a motel in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
15
Preciosa Guzman tries to reach a box of snacks in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
16
Francisco Gona does his homework as his brother Tomas Cervantes lies in bed in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
17
Melinda Guzman sits in the corner of in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
18
The Cervantes family in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
19
Angelica Cervantes llies on the bed in a motel room with her daughter in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
20
Melinda Guzman lies in the corner of in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
21
Tomas Cervantes lies on a bed in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
22
Angelica Cervantes' children sleep in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
23
Benita Guzman drops her niece's children at school in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
24
Melinda Guzman walks into her school in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
25
Angelica Cervantes and her family watch television in a motel room in Port Hueneme. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
26
Benita Guzman cries as she stands in a campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
27
Richard Guzman stands by the tents in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #
28
Angelica Cervantes cleans up the campground in Santa Paula. LUCY NICHOLSON/ (LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS) #

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