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South Florida Students Rally To End Homelessness

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Homeless rally at UM on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. (Source: CBS4)

Homeless rally at UM on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012. (Source: CBS4)

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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Hundreds of South Florida students took part in a rally Thursday for Homeless Awareness Day and learned first-hand from a South Florida mother who lived in a car with her two children while she was pregnant with twins.

The rally at the University of Miami was just one of many held Thursday to help end homelessness.

“It’s really important because a lot of people don’t understand what it is to be homeless and what people actually go through, especially students, who have to go to school and who have to go to work and deal with problems at home as well,” said student Alexa Zagarra.

Courtney Hill, a formerly homeless mother, shared her heartbreaking story.

Two years ago, she had a steady job, was married with two kids and pregnant with twins, but when her husband because abusive to her and the kids, she left. Unfortunately, she lost her job and quickly went through her savings. She ended up living in her SUV near her kids’ school so she could take them to school every day.

“What we did, sometimes we would bath at the YMCA for instance or we would bathe at a corner store that had a bathroom and then we would go to school from there and I would wait for my children in the car,” explained Courtney.

Courtney showed CBS4’s Marybel Rodriguez the back of the SUV where her two children slept with just two blankets.

Courtney lived in the SUV with her two children for four months, while pregnant with twins.

After the birth of her twins, the family was accepted into Carrfour’s Supportive Housing Program and they got their lives back on track. Carrfour Supportive Housing is a nonprofit organization established by the Homeless Committee of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Courtney currently orchestrates a youth summer program of educational learning and activities for children. Courtney shared her story at Thursday’s rally at UM to bring awareness to homelessness.

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