Homelessness scars your psyche – Kathleen, 54, Tampa, FL

These are excepts from a series of interviews with homeless or near-homeless people in the United States. The goal is to bring awareness and generate donations to assist them. Your contributions are appreciated and you can contribute safely through our Paypal link on the right. For more details read our about page.

When will I feel like I am truly not homeless?  When I feel secure enough to have a place to ‘bring’ my pictures.  I lost my storage unit because I couldn’t pay the bill.  It was a lifetime of belongings.  I can’t begin to describe the emotional pain.  I was not there when it happened but I was told that the buyer could not take ‘paper’ so four storage boxes of what the buyer determined was my pictures was left and a friend of mine in that town picked-up the boxes.  They have been in her garage ever since. Two years. I don’t know what is in there, I don’t know if the buyer followed the rules and left anything that was ‘paper’ or not.  I have some letters from my father when he was in the military and it is possible that they might have some ‘sales value’ and it’s possible that the buyer (an auction house) took those letters to sell.  I hope not, but I won’t know until I am able to see what is in the boxes.  Right now, where I am, in another city, I have a place to stay, but it is tenuous and I might have to leave at anytime, and I don’t have anyplace to go and no money to get there, so in my mind, bringing the pictures here, endangers them, since I can’t carry them if I go back on the street.  When I got here, I could carry everything I own except those pictures at my friends.  I have been able to get a bed since I have been here, so the carry rule is no longer true, but it is traumatically imprinted in my mind that if I can’t move it, or pay to store it, I can lose it.  And I don’t want to lose the tiny bit of things I have left. I don’t want to lose those pictures.  Even if that means I don’t see them.  — I haven’t seen them.

If I never see them, does it matter that I ‘have’ them?

Homelessness is traumatic and that’s what trauma does. It scars you. It scars your psyche.


There is no solution to this problem – Deborah, 56, Kansas City, MO

These are excepts from a series of audio interviews with homeless or near-homeless people in the United States. The goal is to bring awareness and generate donations to assist them. Your contributions are appreciated and you can contribute safely through our Paypal link on the right. For more details read our about page.
Deborah: There is no solution to this problem.

Interviewer: Problem?

Deborah: My homelessness.

Interviewer: Can you elaborate?

Deborah: There just isn’t a solution.  I have always been very smart and I like figuring out problems. It requires you to be resourceful.  I can’t figure this one out. And I can’t figure this one out because there is NO SOLUTION. And to add insult to injury, the whole world seems to think that there IS a solution, and I am lazy and just haven’t tried to find one.  It’s not true.  I am 56 years old and I have applied for hundreds and hundreds of jobs in the last 4 years and have not been hired for one.  No job, no money, no nothing.  Homeless.

Interviewer: No job offers?

Deborah: Nope.

Interviewer: Not even at say, McDonald’s?

Deborah: I don’t apply for fast food or restaurant server jobs because I physically can’t stand for very long.

Interviewer: Can I ask why?

Deborah: I took a statin several years ago. Prescribed to my by the doctor at the local free clinic when I still lived in my hometown.  I only took it for 3 months but it really messed me up.  I am in pain everyday now, especially in my hips and legs.  And I can’t stand very long at all, and there is nothing you can do for it, except take pain pills.  Pain pills make me stupid!  I can’t function on them, I don’t now how anyone can. And you hear stories about people getting addicted to prescription pain pills. Regular people with regular lives start taking pain medication like for a back problem or something, and they get addicted, and then their lives are gone.

Interviewer: Their lives are gone?

Deborah: Yeah, they get addicted and then they lose their jobs and then their house and then they become homeless, too. That’s how it happens sometimes. That’s how a regular person can easily become homeless. Prescription pain medicine is powerful. And pain is powerful. My pain is what it is, but it means I can’t work a job where I have to stand up all day.

Interviewer: But you are still in pain?

Deborah: Yup. Everyday, all day. Because of that stupid statin drug. It really sucks.

Interviewer: What do you most want people to know?

Deborah:  That people like me need help. That no matter what you think, there is nothing I did to deserve this. There is no reason I am here except that I listened to a doctor, unemployment is high and I am not 25 anymore, so I can’t get hired. No job, no money. – Homeless.


My Beginning. Plus a video worth watching

I wish to emulate Mark Horvath who created InvisiblePeople.tv and who I started following on twitter when I was homeless a year an half ago. A documentary company called The Kindling Group is making a film about him. See the trailer below and you will understand why I could easily be him, and him me (Don’t miss the 18 year old boy at 1:10). Their funding campaign for the documentary is over. But I hope to be able to generate contributions too, so I might eventually help others also. — Blessings, Kathleen

The Idea for The Group Give

In 2009 I volunteered to do the emailed newsletter for a local pet rescue. A few months before I volunteered to do this, someone at the pet rescue had decided that since they could cover their basic operating expenses each month with $5000, that they were going to get 12 local businesses to donate $5000 once a year and offer them promotional advertising on their site, and in the packet that goes with the adopted animals. In four months they had gotten one business to contribute and had no other real potentials.

The bad economy was in full swing and I remember thinking, “Businesses don’t have $5000 lying around to give in one lump sum.  When you buy a car, you make payments on it, I think that the people who want to give would rather give a little bit, on a regular basis, than give a large sum all at once,” so I proposed that to the members in the emailed newsletter. If 1000 people gave only $5 each month, it would accomplish the same goal.

We never quite accomplished that goal, but that is what gave me the idea, and it has never left me.

It is a good idea and others have had it, because now there is “crowdfunding”. Sites where you can raise money for a goal. One person may not be able to contribute a large amount, but if 100 people, or 1000 people, pooled their contributions, they could do bigger things, and often. By giving as a group, we can see more done with our small contributions. I hope you will want to help because, together we can do more.

Kathleen – The Group Give