Five-year-old Damonta runs giggling to his mother and throws his arms around her neck, spilling her drink on her lap and the floor of a homeless shelter.
“Damonta!” screams his mother, Davonna Davis, laughing. “I just washed these clothes.”
Damonta grins and runs to join a friend near the toy box as his father, Willie Davis, retreats to the kitchen for a mop.
“I wonder if they even realize what’s going on,” Willie says as he watches his son. Davonna and Willie moved their three children, Breanna, Stephawn and Damonta, from their Chicago public housing apartment to the Lansing area last August.
But they struggled to find decent affordable housing within their low-income rent range, and months after they moved to town, the family still lives at Haven House, a family-oriented homeless shelter in East Lansing.