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In the summer of 2005, Alexandria and her three children were living out of their van in Detroit's Belle Isle Park. After Alexandria's husband of 16 years abandoned the family, Alexandria spiraled into depression, lost her job and got evicted from her home. She thought the park was the safest place she could go.

Alexandria: I couldn't even believe I was there, but having the kids with me just kind of made it seem unreal. How could this have happened? I didn't see an end in sight.

Anderson: Did you feel guilty at times?

Alexandria: Every single day. Sometimes I found it hard to even look at them. … These are people I brought into the world, and I'm responsible for them. To feed them, to clothe them, to house them…and I couldn't do that. Now, that's being a failure to me.

Thanks to Mom's Place, a community organization that helps single mothers get back on their feet, Alexandria now lives in her own home. She's working part-time and is back in school.
FROM: Oprah Special Report: Inside the Lives of America's Poor
Published on October 12, 2005