Living in a Car: Homelessness on 60 Minutes

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nicole Young, producer for 60 Minutes and the Evening News with Scott Pelley, talks about the 60 Minutes piece Hard Times Generation: Families Living in Cars, which aired this weekend. Mary Brosnahan, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, explains why homeless families in the five boroughs are not in the same position as those in Florida.


Mary Brosnahan and Nicole Young

Comments [24]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn, NY

Hi, Brian, I cried when I watched 60 Minutes Sunday night and I cried this morning as I listened to this segment. I slept on the subway in Manhattan and on the steps of a church. It is something that I would not wish on anybody. I couldn’t sleep and once somebody took the little money that I had. I chased after him shouting Police! and covered most of it. It is a very uncomfortable sort of life. I am glad that the little girl in Florida and her family have a place to live now and that her father has been offered a job. No more poverty! Ever! Eugenia Renskoff

Nov. 29 2011 01:37 PM
LSM from New Jersey

I orginally watched the first segment of this program in March. I was quite touched and to be quite honest thought of those young people frequently. And when I saw it this Sunday. . . wow!!! I think of the attitude of the young lady and then compare it to many of the young people in our schools today .. . . . Unfortunately, there is a lot to be said for having to do without material things in asssting the maturing process.
I am a retired high school teacher.

Nov. 29 2011 12:33 PM
Renter from NYC

The main cause of homelessness is the lack of political will on all levels of of government. In NYC, the same issues of corporate wealth and Wall St. financial speculation articulated by Occupy Wall Street undermine the political process in NY housing policy. Gov. Cuomo has to demonstrate that he has the will to confront the real cause of NY housing policy behind NYC homelesness - real estate political campaign contributions that finance senators like Pasada and Skelos. They prevented the repeal of the the vacancy decontrol and deregulation laws added to the Emergency Housing Act that gave landlords the means to remove affordable housing from the market. The senate did nothing to mandate a rental housing vacancy rate above 5%, at which point rent regulation would end by law. I suggest NYC renters advocate for a housing policy in Albany that creates an affordable housing market and addresses emergency shelter needs, by going to and learn how to get Albany's attention.

Nov. 29 2011 12:21 PM
Nick Lento from nj

Nick Lento
60 Minutes did a heartbreaking piece on this homeless family......white, from a middle class background and articulate. As could be expected given that millions of people watch the show, there is now an overwhelming response and it seems that their probems are over.....and that's fantastic! It's hearwarming to see that these kids are going to have a more normal life again and that this likeable carpenter will be making a good living again!

But the tragedy and the heartbreak continues for the millions of other Ameicans who are now either homeless or indanger of becoming homeless...and those numbers will include more and more people who used to feel secure in their middle class status.

What's needed is for massive and systemic changes to our economic policies and to the laws that govern when and how and where people are allowed to organize unions. In an America with a sane honest rule of law there would be more than enough wealth to spread so that no one need ever be homeless or jobless!

What we see happening is stark and simple. The rich are more filthy rich than ever before, the poor are getting poorer and more desperately poor.....all while the midle class continues to shrink and wither away....these trends are NOT SUSTAINABLE!

So long as most Americans don't vote...more and more of us will wind up like the Metzgers, and 60 Minutes has already done its post Thanksgiving story on a sympathetic homeless family for this kind of reminds me of the two turkeys that get
"pardoned" by whoever is in the Whte House...while the rest get slaughtered and eaten.

So long as we allow proto-fascistic corporatists to dominate our politics, things will only get worse...much worse as the global warming and associated pollution problems don't afford us the luxury of another hundred years of sliding downhill.

It really is all connected.

Nov. 29 2011 12:17 PM

The iPad was free.

I guess CBS is taking a tip from public radio/ TV and charging people for content? Oh right, public radio/ TV only suggest that we pay...

And "Dimwit"? Really?? Ruppert? Is that you?

Nov. 29 2011 12:09 PM
sunphat from SchmoCal

I see this all the time in Southern CA, it's pretty shocking how many people live in cars and old beat up campers. I'm sure that FL is a lot worse since the economy there is so broken.

And yes, those kids have incredible resolve, actually staggering. The parents must be incredible to hold it all together I know I couldn't.

Nov. 29 2011 11:48 AM

[[Mike from Brooklyn I'm trying to watch this on the 60 Minutes website on my iPad, but have to buy the app for 5 bucks for the pleasure. Thanks corporate news media!!]] spent more than 500 dollars on a tablet computer and now are balking at paying for CONTENT that you want to access?

How much are you paying monthly for web access on that thing?


Nov. 29 2011 11:46 AM
Ken from Soho

I tried to watch "60 Minutes", but the stupid football game was still on, past the time 60 Minutes was scheduled, so I gave up on broadcast TV and put a video on instead.

Nov. 29 2011 11:44 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

So where is Herman Cain or most of the other Republican candidates to kick these people from the segment while they are down and say "it's their fault"??

Just sayin'....

Nov. 29 2011 11:44 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC! Brian, they don't live in their cars here so much..just in the streets and in subway stations...

Nov. 29 2011 11:41 AM

I didn't see the show. But listening to this on the radio, it strikes me that, ironically, cars help bankrupt people in the first place. Yet no one ever looks at the price of buying them, maintaining them, gas, insurance ... yet it's the last asset anyone will give up. If we built communities where people could commute easier, they'd have more of their money left to spend on rent.

Nov. 29 2011 11:41 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

I'm trying to watch this on the 60 Minutes website on my iPad, but have to buy the app for 5 bucks for the pleasure. Thanks corporate news media!!

Nov. 29 2011 11:40 AM

i would like to pay this family's rent (anonymously). how can i proceed?

Nov. 29 2011 11:40 AM
libra from newyork

it actually saddens me to hear of the 'surprised' response. proof that people don't know what isw happening around them - homelessness, police brutality, etc. I'm afraid, rather tends to believe, that the appreciation response of the public will push them even further away from the 'other' using the subconscious appreciation to appreciate how blessed we are.

Nov. 29 2011 11:40 AM
A (serious) question

How much are comes in central Florida going for these days? What is the median price of a rental? Shouldn't someone set up a "craigslist" for families seeking families to split the rent on a house?

Nov. 29 2011 11:40 AM
elaine from li

Have you seen the Elizabeth Warren clip on healthcare causing foreclosures?

Nov. 29 2011 11:40 AM
Emily Waithe

The race of the kids evoke strong emotion. There are lots of Brown and Black kids who have been living like this for years.

Nov. 29 2011 11:39 AM
tessa from Manhattan

When will this be shown again as I would like to watch it with my children

Nov. 29 2011 11:38 AM
A question

Why haven't the kids living in cars been taken away from their parents?

Nov. 29 2011 11:37 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Had drinks last night with a friend I hadn't seen in about 8 years and we talked about the 60 Minutes segment.

We wondered how to reconcile such a situations with the reports of shopping on Black Friday.

I've long said, partly in jest, but with underlying seriousness, that it would do kids (and maybe some adults) some real good, to go hungry for a couple of days. Then, they would better appreciate what they have, and sympathize with those that aren't as lucky.

The segment should be required viewing by kids in the schools -- all the way up to high school (or beyond!)

Nov. 29 2011 11:35 AM
A question

What about Section 8?

Nov. 29 2011 11:34 AM

Wow, sounds like Ariel is talking to the liberals. Always complaining, taking things for granted - don't be so ungrateful, you may miss this country when you're done destroying it.

Nov. 29 2011 11:33 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

That was a heartbreaking segment

Nov. 29 2011 11:31 AM
Frank from NYC

Such a striking story -- the maturity level of those "kids" was mind-blowing. Like the previous reports in this series it was fascinating to see how well adjusted the young people have been, possibly more than the adults.

Nov. 29 2011 11:27 AM

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