How did I become homeless?

A photo illustration of an abused woman staring into the camera while a man's hand covers her mouth.

U.S. Air Force photo illustration / Senior Airman Aaron-Forrest Wainwright

I was not homeless before November 2011. I left my $300-per-month apartment after having trouble in the job market. That difficulty was caused by a coworker — a married coworker — being a man like Harvey Weinstein, well before the #MeToo movement this year.

He fondled my arms, breast and bottom. This was well beyond inappropriate. It was traumatic.

I asked a female supervisor, in confidence, what I should do. A report was given to human resources at corporate headquarters and a meeting was scheduled. I learned that previous complaints, some of them formal, had been made about this man.

Things became progressively difficult from there. Since that time, I have been out on the street and unemployed.

I’ve been raped, repeatedly — something I would not wish on anyone. I have been beaten severely, breaking more than 40 bones. I have also been exposed to deadly diseases.

I didn’t network, save enough or learn enough. Unfortunately, I had mediocre choices at best and suffered tremendously. I pray I won’t go through these things anymore.

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.