Karen Woodward woke up in a rundown gray Honda Civic she’d stationed in a Walmart parking lot. It was a hot July morning. She cleaned her face with a rag in the car’s sun visor and wet her toothbrush with water from a water bottle. Depending on how populated the parking lot was, she sometimes crouched beside the car and shimmied into her nursing scrubs.
On the days her car would run, she drove the couple miles to her job as a medical assistant at a pediatrician’s office in Westlake Hills, an Austin suburb. On the days it wouldn’t, she took the bus as far as it would go or hitchhiked. Work would distract her from everything else in her life.