In the following weeks, I will be sharing stories from my last few years of work with people experiencing homelessness.
Before I start on this project, I want to be clear. All I am able to provide is my own perspective. Each person has their own way of telling their story and my narrative does not in any way replace the narrative that could be told by each of these people individually.
I can offer my perspective and tell the story through my lens. That is all I aim to do, and in so doing, I hope to shed some light on an issue that a lot of Americans want to understand better.
These are not stories about “homeless people.” They are stories about people.
That’s what will strike you if you start talking to folks who are unhoused. You’ll find that they are not as different from you as you think.
You’ll meet people who listen to the same music you do, share your hobbies, share your background.
You’ll talk with people who go to a job each day, take pride in their work and people who complain about their bosses and office politics, just like you do.
I’ve even encountered people who share my exact birthday and people who went to high school with me.
Truthfully, it is a bit disconcerting sometimes to look in this strange mirror which shows how different my circumstances could have been had I been dealt a different hand in life in one way or another. We Americans want to believe that we are in good positions because of our hard work and virtuous natures. We want to think that ‘we’ are ultimately different from ‘them,’ but I am continually reminded that this is not the case.
I have changed names and identifying details in these stories for the privacy of each individual that is mentioned in the following stories.
Please let me know what you think of this project as it evolves. Thanks for reading!