“… As I often tell people, it is an experience, not a personality trait. Yes, it’s hard to tell people you’re homeless but it’s even harder to pretend that you’re not.”
From her experience, she found that instead of fitting stereotypes of being substance abusers, ex-offenders or mentally ill, most homeless people she has met are youth, including runaways, seniors, veterans and single parents.
It is especially difficult for youth under the age of 18 who often do not qualify for food or housing assistance. And she found that even “emergency” shelters and housing often had a long wait.
“Like a lot of other advocates, I chose to get involved with helping homeless people because of what I saw happening to them on a daily basis. I’ve seen what it’s like to try to navigate through a system that doesn’t provide housing options outside of packed shelters and each shelter system is different!”