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Neither hippies nor nomads: Unaffordable rent in the US forces thousands into a mobile lifestyle

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Ayden, 13, has always lived on wheels. Born in a San Diego hospital, he spent time in an incubator before his parents took him to live in a small, converted ice cream truck. Now the family lives in an old 1984 Southwind mobile home. He’s a happy and healthy child who enjoys enjoying playing on the street, watching YouTube videos, and creating his own animations. His parents shower him with love, and like many families with children, he is the center of attention. Ayden has never attended school. His mother, Julienna, is a 53-year-old woman from New York. She teaches him in a makeshift classroom for three hours a day, five days a week. Ayden’s desk is a board on top of the steering wheel. They currently reside in San Diego, a southern California city of 1.4 million, where they have been living since Ayden’s birth. Today, they have geometry class. “Living in a mobile home with my son has forced me to be very creative. From Monday to Friday, we have a schedule where we cover seven subjects, including physical education. I teach him using the traditional English method that was used back in the 18th century. I do it this way because I just don’t agree with the modern system. He’s learning much faster by going back to how education used to be.”

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