LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Karen Moore went from being a successful businesswoman to utter financial ruin in the blink of an eye and ended up homeless for nearly a year.
Moore was homeless between 2018 and 2019. Luckily, she was able to get off the streets just before the pandemic hit.
She was the internet sales manager of a large company in the Antelope Valley and had been doing very well.
All of a sudden, she says the company just decided to tell employees they were shutting down.
Moore says the last thing she ever expected to do was to end up living in her car, and then in the middle of the desert.
She says she didn't have family to lean on, she couldn't find another job, her savings were depleted and unemployment benefits ran out.
"It was the hardest time I've ever been through. It's scary. There's no help out there at all," she said.
She could no longer afford her rent, forcing her to be homeless.
"My nickname out there was June Cleaver because I did not fit out there," she said. "But there's a lot of people like me that are out there that don't fit. There's people with families."
Moore, in her 50s, was attacked and robbed while homeless. She says despite being the victim of crime, she tried protecting young, homeless girls from being abused.
"There were many a different times I actually helped young, single girls who had been raped two days before, and they're sitting in my tent crying their eyes out to me," she said.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority last year reported there were 66,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in L.A. County and nearly one-third - 21,129 - of them are women.
The county reported there are currently 15,000 chronically homeless people - a number projected to double within four years.
"What people don't understand is probably 80% of the general public is one paycheck away from being homeless," Moore said.
She says despite her hardship, she didn't give up hope applying for multiple jobs until she landed one with the county Department of Social Services.
She says it pays just enough for her to rent a room in a home. She's encouraging others living on the street, especially women, not to give up hope.