PACIFICA, Calif. (KTVU) - A single mother and five children are hoping to find a permanent home for the holidays.
Angelique Chavez has a full-time job but still can't make ends meet.
The 35-year-old tells KTVU she lost her home in Pacifica 14 months ago when she split up with the father of her children. She hasn't been able to find a permanent home since.
On this damp and dreary Friday night, the family takes a trip to their storage locker. It was almost like Christmas for the children, ages 6 to 16, as their mother unlocked the unit.
"Look, it's my little box, " said 11-year-old Ana Adams.
All of the family's most valuable possessions put into storage since they lost their home.
"Just going day to day wondering where I'm going to stay that night, in hotels is where we've been mostly," said Chavez.
She says she and the children stayed at motels in Vallejo and Hayward because rooms there are affordable.
"It's kind of scary. Sometimes, there are people yelling outside our room," said Ana.
She and her 12-year-old brother Gabriel were taken in by Chavez after their mother died and their father couldn't care for them.
Chavez supports the whole family with her full-time job at a large retailer,but still comes up short each month.
"Figure out how to get to work. Make sure all of them are fed three meals a day. I get down to the last dollar; let's just put it that way," said Chavez.
They're now living in a homeless shelter staying together in one room.
6-year-old Lena says she's uncomfortable with all the strangers around, “I don't recognize them. I've never seen them before. I want to go back in the room."
Chavez is receiving food and help with her search for housing from the Pacifica Resource Center
The nonprofit helped her get a government subsidized housing voucher, which will pay about $2,000 in monthly rent.
"She's doing everything she needed to do. Everything she's supposed to do and she's still having a hard time finding a place," said Anita Rees, the executive director.
After more than a year of searching, Chavez says she hasn't found anyone willing to rent to her because she has five children and because she pays in part with a government voucher.
"Homeless people come in all sizes and shapes. I have a full-time job. I work really hard, but yet I still have no place to go," said Chavez.
Her housing voucher requires her to find a place to rent in San Mateo County.
For more information on how to help, contact the Pacifica Resource Center by emailing the executive director.