01/07/2014 01:20 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Formerly Homeless NYC Mother: My Child And I Were Turned Away From Shelter (VIDEO)

More than 60,000 homeless people live in New York City, a staggering figure not seen since the Great Depression. Children, undoubtedly the most vulnerable victims, make up over a third of that population.

Seventeen-year-old William Brown and his mother, Nikema, talked to HuffPost Live Monday about the immense challenges they faced as a homeless family in the city. Nikema recounted being turned away from shelters twice as a young mother, and described the "rigorous process" to prove that she and her son had nowhere else to go.

William and Nikema, whose story of growing up homeless was published in The Guardian last week, said that although they're no longer homeless, many obstacles remain. William wrote in The Guardian:

She works in medical billing now, but we live in constant fear of moving. We almost lost our place this month. You always have to be ready. You don't want to set up too much. You are always worried. I don't have anything older than about a year. I try to keep things, but it never works out. It's hard to keep things when you move so much.

As homeless people across the country are struggling this week with frigid temperatures, watch the clip above to remember the difficulties of not having a home. You can watch the full segment below.