More than any statistic or rhetoric could ever convey, this woman’s circumstances are a reminder that every homeless person has a story. She came to Rachel’s after losing her mother, her job and her home, all within one month. She had an additional setback when a man attacked her on the street, ramming into her leg with his wheelchair and leaving a large gash affecting her ability to walk.
“If I wasn’t at Rachel’s, I don’t know where I’d be. Not that it’s easy being in a room with so many other homeless women, but it’s a place where I can rest, think and plan my next steps.”
She envisions a career in mental health, although she knows it’s not as easy as simply dusting off her resume, especially with her mailing address pulling up a homeless shelter on Google.
“Your self-esteem takes a hit. You don’t feel connected to the community. You have no support. It’s just what happens.”
One of her friends recently told her he had the answer to fix homelessness. “Just stop helping them. Stop feeding them, stop trying to take care of them, and they’ll go away.”
It’s as if he’s talking about pigeons.