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Sky-high rent prices forces single mom to pay whopping $1,000 a month to live in converted garage

A young mother is raising her 18-month-old child in a converted single-car garage — a snapshot of the extreme, sky-high rental rates in the Northern California Bay Area.

Nicole Jones lost her job while she was pregnant with her first child. After losing her apartment because she could no longer afford it, she spent time in a shelter before finding her current home.

“I didn’t know much about homelessness before,” Jones said. “Honestly, I thought homeless people were panhandlers or people on the street that were hungry and cold or drug addicts and alcoholics who didn’t want to do anything for themselves.”

The San Mateo garage has a bathroom area with a small shower, but no kitchen. Jones relies on a microwave and toaster oven to prepare her meals. She has attempted to make the cramped space feel more comfortable by adding a small electric fireplace and artificial wood flooring.

Jones is pregnant with her second child.

“I’m nervous, excited, frightened, sad,” Jones said.

Jones said despite its small size, she is happy to have the home.

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