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.
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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.

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