When I met Derrick, he wasnt homeless. Even though I wrongly profiled him, and regretted doing so, he told me that I shouldn't and that he glad that I did. Derrick said that that's how he see's the good in people, when they have an immediate impulse to help others. Derrick had been homeless for 15 years of his life, and he's seen how people are taught to think with their head first, instead of their heart, and that's a stigma. A stigma against people like him.
Due to the continuing nationwide pandemic, outreach for Naming the Homeless has been stalled due to health concerns. Although we haven't been able to conduct interviews for new content, we never stopped spreading awareness. Next month on NamingtheHomeless.com, we will be featuring never before seen interviews from our archives that relate to present day social issues. Thank you for sticking around and continuing to name the homeless with us, one story at a time.
My first experience with a homeless person was being told not to talk to them. Not because they didn't want me to, but I wanted to give the young girl my silver dollar and they were trying to teach me not to hand out money. Eventually they gave in, having no idea how this moment would influence me in the future. Keep reading to learn about my first experience with a homeless person.
After graduating high school with a seventh grade education due to a learning disability, Turhan has worked his entire adult life to support himself--until now. "Labor is my only skill," he said, "if I can't lift anything, I can't work." At age 49, he developed an inguinal hernia that caused him constant pain and left him out of work and, because it's technically not an injury that he sustained while on the job, he never received workers' compensation. "That really hurt my feelings," Turhan said, "I'm a loyal employee, I put everything into my work because it's all I have... I couldn't understand why they wouldn't help me." Unable to work and with no other source of income, Turhan turned to the streets, where everyday is a battle with depression for him. "I don't want to hurt myself--I want to recover," Turhan said. Read more to find out what happens next.
Something to know about me: I have three half sisters, even though I never think of them as anything less than a sister that I care about very much. Jasmine is my youngest sister and the only one that lives in the same house as me. She turned nine years old just last month. Ever since I started this blog she has been begging to be a part of it in any way she can. She even attended an interview with us one weekend. She had her pad with her to take notes and came up with her own question, I was very proud of her. Recently she done something that is above and beyond what she has already contributed. This is my message to her:
Jeanette's interview was completely unexpected, we had originally finished our interview for the day with Belinda. We were on our way back to the train station, passing out sandwiches along the way, when we saw Jeanette walking away from the station. We stopped her and asked her if she would like our last sandwich and her reaction was priceless. She claimed that our approaching her was a message sent from her children in heaven that they are watching over her. She admitted that she was feeling a little down that day and that our kindness really meant a lot to her. Jeanette is not homeless, she lives in a personal care home. Before she moved to the home she was homeless for two years and her story and all that she has endured throughout her 70 years is nothing short of incredible. *The spelling of Janette's name has been corrected.
Constance's story has been posted! She is 44 years old and previously relied on SSI for 18 years before it was cut off. She has been homeless for two years now and is waiting to hear back from SSI about her current application although this could take up to another year or even longer. Constance tries to remain hopeful but she says, "I get tired of sitting out here shaking this cup, sometimes I just want to throw it away."
Here it is, Dora's story! Dora is the first homeless individual that we have interviewed for this blog and her spirit was refreshing, I have never met someone with so much energy and passion for the things they care about most. I do apologize for the delay, I have been writing this in between assignments. I hope you enjoy her story as much as we do!
Hi, everyone! Kathy and I traveled by train to Philadelphia yesterday (Saturday, October 7th) and spent the day roaming around looking for a homeless individual to interview and offer our care package to (which will be featured in our next post). We met two wonderful women, although one respectively declined having her story shared so... Continue Reading →