One after the other, there’s a video of somebody buying a car, fixing it up, and turning it into their new home. “Van life” has become a trend and it’s been glorified into a lifestyle full of adventures, minimalism, and having a home on the go. This new trend is damaging to the unhoused community and coming from a place of privilege.
When we think of homelessness we often picture an individual living on the streets asking for money, food, or some sort of assistance. However, there is a large community of individuals experiencing homelessness that are not as noticeable: those that live in vehicles. Sarah Rankin, director of the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project at Seattle University School of Law, says that those living in cars are the fastest-growing segment of the United States’ homeless population. While there is insufficient data to provide an exact number, it is estimated that about 100,000 individuals currently live in a vehicle throughout the nation.