Family robbed blind living in car after fresh start turns into nightmare

VANCOUVER, Wa. -- Bruce Davis and his wife can tell you their motel room costs $66.02. They know the exact price because they begged for every penny.

Davis, his wife and three teenage sons moved here from Idaho so he could attend cooking school.

"I'm a chef. I'm one of the best chefs in the world," he said, standing along the off-ramp to I-205 in Vancouver holding a sign with his son.

The family pulled into a Portland motel on March 5 with everything they owned in a roof-rack on top of their Chevy.

When they woke up the next morning, the rack was stolen, according to Bruce's wife, Shelly.

They lost all their belongings, including cash for a deposit on a house rental, the family says.

Now Bruce and his sons beg for money on the side of the road while sleeping in their car or a tent behind a church.

On Saturday, they were parked outside a Wal-Mart in Vancouver.

Austin, 15, and Justin, 16, haven't gone to school since they left Idaho a month ago.

"There isn't really much we can do about it. If I could be in school, would I? Yeah. Because I need to get my education," said Austin.

His mom said she worries state child welfare officials could open an investigation if they discovered the kids had not been in school.

"That's my biggest worry," she said, "losing my boys."

According to Washington State, simply being homeless is not enough to put children in foster care; there needs to be abuse or neglect.

However, state law does require all children ages 8 to 18 to attend school.