Oklahoma Family On The Brink Of Homelessness Dumpster Diving To Get By

09/14/2010 01:05 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tapanga Wenrich is one of the over 2,000 students struggling with homelessness in the Tulsa, Okla. public school system.

Tulsa World reports just a year ago, Tapanga had a comfortable life -- but when her father couldn't find construction work, times quickly got tough for the family of five. With bills piling up, the Wenrichs lost their home.

"They call it 'eviction' when you can't stay in your house anymore," Tapanga says, twirling a lock of blond hair between her fingers. "And that's when we became 'homeless.' "

The Wenrichs bounced between motels and a homeless shelter -- but managed to save up enough to move into a new rental house. Their worries were far from over.

Still struggling to find steady work, the Wenrichs find the things they need from the trash, Tulsa World reports.

"We have a favorite Dumpster," Tapanga says, describing its location somewhere in Sand Springs.

That's where she can find shoes and clothes for herself, and toys for her baby brother.

Dumpster diving provides more than just luxury items for the family, it also serves as a means of income. Tapanga's father collects scraps of metal from the trash bins that he can sell to pay the family's bills.

Metal scrapping is not a reliable source of income. The family told a Tulsa World reporter they haven't been able to pay their rent since July -- and fear they may once again find themselves homeless.

Tulsa World reports.

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To read the full story, visit TuslaWorld.com.