Editor's note: On CNN's "State of the Union," host and chief national correspondent John King goes outside the Beltway to report on the issues affecting communities across the country.
LOS ANGELES (CNN) - The tears begin and her voice trembles as Ruth Martinez remembers the first few days of her new world.
She would leave work, pick up her son Jacob at school and drive aimlessly, sometimes sneaking back to the office, "to watch TV there without my boss knowing."
Her husband had lost his job, and the stress drove them apart. Then Martinez was evicted. Suddenly, her car was her home. And she was afraid to ask for help.
"We just prayed," Martinez told us. "And I was embarrassed because a Hispanic Latina does not ask for help. The way I was raised, you put your pride to the side and did what you had to do."
Rudy Salinas finds them in cars, under bridges, in abandoned homes, and even in protected trenches artfully dug by the military veterans who put survival skills learned in Iraq and Afghanistan to use in America's inner cities.
Salinas has been working to help the homeless here for eight years now, driving the streets every day looking for people hiding under bridges and in abandoned properties. More and more of late, there are people in business clothes, heading off to work. More and more, they are women with young children.