Vendor Profile: Gwyn Smith

Gwyn Smith. Photo by Street Sense.

Gwyn Smith was born in 1945 in Salisbury, North Carolina. Smith has been homeless in California, Massachusetts and D.C. She recently found an apartment to live in, but says it’s hard with the high rents. 

 Expecting to find a job and get her own place, Gwyn volunteered to leave her house after her mother died to allow for her sister’s family to move in. She lived on the streets and soon began drinking and experimenting with drugs.  

Gwyn has been clean for 17 years. “I went through a lot of counseling and am quite proud,” she said.  

In Delaware, she worked as a substitute teacher in the ‘90s. Recently, she worked with homeless people in a shelter in D.C. She broke her ankle, and hence had to stop working. She hopes that her ankle will heal within the month, so she can get another job, whilst still selling papers part time.  

Gwyn also writes poetry and hopes to contribute to Street Sense. She sells papers in the Northwest sector, near L Street. 

“It’s supportive, nice, friendly. It’s nice to have a job again,” she said about working at Street Sense. 

Gwyn shared with us some of her favorites: 

Favorite Movie: The Bourne series with Matt Damon. 

Favorite Music: R. Kelly 

Issues |Community

Region |Downtown|Northwest|Ward 2|Washington DC

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