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How (And Why) This Man Lived In His Car For Over A Year

Welcome to Hotel Prius.

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Chris Sawey wrote to BuzzFeed to share his story about the events that led to him living in his car for over a year, and how it changed his life.

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All of his valuables were stolen, but the most important thing that was taken was his laptop, containing all of his résumés and professional portfolios.

BuzzFeedYellow / Via

"With no real way to prove my work to employers, finding work was proving to be, well...challenging," he says. "Despite my circumstances, life continued and the bills and rent kept coming. I was burnt out, exhausted, and depression was taking over like you would not believe."


Growing up in foster care and children's homes had prepared him for weathering difficult life circumstances.

BuzzFeedYellow / Via

"One night I had this idea," he says. "I made a list of my monthly expenses and what I thought to be 'necessary' spending — food, gas, cell phone bill, car insurance, and saving for the future – that's it."

He called it "Hotel Prius."

BuzzFeedYellow / Via

"It was challenging at first, but the truth is, you just get used to it," he says. "Having the mobility to go anywhere means I can keep my options open to say 'yes' to opportunities as they present themselves. What's that? A job in the Northeast? On my way! You never know what could happen, but with Hotel Prius, I stay ready."

Sawey gets a lot of questions about his experience, but the most common thing asked is where he showers.

BuzzFeedYellow / Via

"Gyms," he says. "No matter where I go, I can usually find a gym from $10–$25 a month. Plus, I can work out, use the Wi-Fi, and if I'm lucky, use the pool!"


"What started as a one-month experiment to get ahead and catch up on life after a turn for the worse turned into over a year of so much more than I could've ever hoped or imagined. This is that adventure."