When hotel, casino and hospital parking lots become home

Welcome to our series, “Adventures in accommodation. “Because more and more, that’s what has become of finding and affording housing. These will be your stories. Share yours using the submission box below.


Jeremiah Othin had an apartment in the San Gabriel Valley, but said he spent almost no time there due to the long hours he worked, as a line cook in a hot dog restaurant and as a delivery driver.

“I [was] pay rent in a place where I don’t live, ”he said. “I realized that an apartment was not so essential for me. After a few weeks in a cheap, crowded Airbnb, Othin started living in his car.

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority annual statement last year, 16,500 people in Los Angeles County live in cars, vans, RVs and other vehicles.

Othin said he hated sleeping in his car at first, but got used to that way of life. He never stays in the same parking lot for more than a few nights in a row and has found that hospitals, casinos, and hotels are good overnight parking spots. He said he was trying to park next to the walls to prevent security personnel or others from seeing in his vehicle. Sometimes he will park in the employee section of the parking lots to avoid suspicion.

Othin said he paid around $ 20 a month for a gym membership so he had a place to shower. “This is the main reason I have it,” he said.

Although he never expected to be in this situation, Othin said living in his car has taught him a lot about what matters.

“The most important thing is to take care of myself,” he said. “I am going through something that I never thought I would live… to survive.”


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