Motel America

Built mainly on tourism, the service industry and construction, Florida was once an ideal choice for many Americans who migrated to the sunshine state to find work and a chance at a better life. High unemployment coupled with one of the worst foreclosure rates in America has, in the end, pushed many families out onto the streets. With the affordable housing sector overburdened, they have, essentially had no place to go. They stay with their friends or a neighbor, in their cars, until their last resort becomes a motel room. One of the hardest hit areas in Florida has been in the counties surrounding Disney World. On one strip of highway just steps from the theme parks, it’s estimated that 500 families are living in motels. Originally built to support tourism, many of these motels have become home. It’s a precarious environment, in some cases rife with violence and prostitution. Children often sustain themselves with junk food with little privacy or places in which to study. As families in the Orlando area have nowhere to go, motel balconies continue to fill up with a life’s worth of belongings, and places like the Remington Inn in Northern Orlando are redefined as home.