Her story:

People yell at you to go get a job, and you say, “I’ve been working all day” (waving a sign).

I lost my house and my children due to my drinking and drug use — I couldn’t pay the bills because I was too busy having fun. It’s been about 5 or 6 years; I’ve been on and off the street. Stay with people when I can. But I had a really bad relationship, so I didn’t really give a crap at the time. Kinda would rather live in my car at the Walmart.

Average day:

You gotta watch out for each other, because if you don’t, nobody’s gonna watch out for you. Gotta know where your friends are — make sure they’re ok. It’s cold here; I hate the cold!

People don’t consider how much we have to go through in a day. Getting a job is hard — I don’t have no ID, I’m not from here, I don’t have an address. So it’s kinda hard to go to work. And when the cops come wake you up at 6 AM just because they can, it’s wrong. ‘Cause you’re already cold sleeping on the concrete, my god, can you let me sleep til I wake up. But it’s not always entirely bad to be out here.

What is home:

Home is where I end up at the end of the day and where my friends are. That’s what home is.

Houseless just means I don’t have an actual house – doesn’t mean I don’t have home. A guy once came up to me and said, “You’re not homeless, you’re residentially challenged!” We all see it our own way.

Homelessness in America:

My son asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year and I told him a port-a-potty. ‘Cause you don’t think about that stuff when you’re inside, you just go. You don’t gotta walk a mile to the bus station. These are things people just don’t think about — like having electric. I never thought about that stuff ’til I was homeless. It’s just always there.