Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - Page updated at 10:46 AM

 n this chilly May evening in the parking lot of Southcenter mall, Cherie Moore is growing anxious. She and her 17-year-old son, Cody Barnes, sit almost unmoving in the cab of their old Ford Ranger, all their belongings crammed in the back -- their 32-inch flat-screen television, a prized movie collection, Cody's video games.

Moore is down to her last $6. It's nearing 10 o'clock and it's been hours since the two have had a meal.

Mall security has been circling. Moore knows they can't spend the night parked here, but the 49-year-old single mother, born and raised in South King County, has no clue where to go.

"I'm mentally exhausted," she says.

While overall homelessness in King County has steadied, it appears to be rising among families, a trend playing out across the nation.

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