Sharing Their Stories
The men, women and children who face homelessness every day are our brothers, our daughters, our neighbors, our friends. They battle the despair and inhumanity that often accompanies homelessness and the fragmented system that manages it. They are real people with real stories about the difficulties of life on the streets. Meet some of the people who strengthen our resolve to end chronic homelessness.
Heather and Jasmine
Heather and her young daughter Jasmine fled an abusive home and found themselves with nowhere to live. They moved from shelter to shelter as Heather tried to find work to support herself and her daughter. Heather worries what will happen to Jasmine without the stability of a permanent place to call home. Sadly, there has been a rise in the number of homeless individuals with children since 2007. View their story.
Unfortunately, Marcus’ story is a familiar one. He lost his apartment after he became unemployed. That’s when he started sleeping on all-night buses. Marcus is filled with hopes and dreams for his life, but until he can find some stability through permanent housing, he is just trying to hang on. View his story.
Joshua has faced setbacks before. He dealt with asthma as a child and a mother with mental health issues. He had hoped to become an artist, but paying the rent and buying groceries got in the way. After a 30-year career as a hospital janitor, he suffered from back problems. That combined with his asthma and caring for his mother made it difficult to earn a decent wage. He found himself homeless and with no family to help. Without a permanent place to live, Joshua is finding it difficult to get back on his feet. View his story.
Angela was 11 years old when she traded an abusive household for a highway underpass. She has lived alone on the streets for 25 years, raised by pimps and drug dealers. Today, Angela takes classes at a local community college, carefully recording her stories and art in a tattered journal she keeps in her backpack. She does not use drugs or ask for money; instead she keeps to herself in a quiet part of San Jose. Angela avoids the shelter system because even after all this time, it hasn’t led to a permanent home. View her story.