Meet Mallory

Housing Stories — September 5, 2018

Meet Mallory

Mallory gets emotional when she talks about paying her electricity bills. “It feels amazing,” she says.

There was a time in the not-so-distant past when utility payments were the last thing on Mallory’s mind. She was living with her two kids out of a car, using drugs to stay alert during the long, harrowing nights.


unhoused Angelenos are younger than 18.


Drug addiction ran in the family. Mallory’s father would physically abuse her when he was using, while her mother once tried to help Mallory lose weight by spiking her Diet Coke with crystal meth.

Escaping her toxic home environment wasn’t easy. Mallory first moved in with a boyfriend. When he became violent, she struggled to find a more viable living situation.

For a time, her only option was living in her car. Looking after her kids while living in an unsecured home was understandably stressful, and it only strengthened her addictive tendencies.


Unhoused people are far more likely than the general public to have grown up around a parent who struggled with addiction.



of unhoused Angelenos struggle with substance abuse.


Their apartment at Mosaic Gardens is stocked with a library’s worth of children’s books. Framed photos and inspirational posters dot the walls. “Today, I’m focusing on being present for my kids,” she says.