Looking for a way home

October 12, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT
Sept. 6, 2007— Because they have two children and another one on the way, Michele and Charlie Silvey try to get off the streets and into a motel as often as they can. “Before we were homeless,” Michele says, “we had this nice little trailer on a piece of land, pictures everywhere, dishes, clean. ... It wasn’t beautiful, but it was our home. We didn’t have to worry about where we were going to sleep.” Charlie recently lost his job at Jiffy Lube, so the couple took to panhandling on Ninth Street, usually late when the bars are busy. On a good night, they can collect $100 or more, but because they pay upfront for as many nights in the motel as they can, the money goes quickly. “Michele and I met 14 years ago when she was getting off a Greyhound bus, and we’ve been together off and on ever since,” Charlie says. “She’s stood by my side since day one. I’ve done her wrong so many times, but she’s still there for me.”

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