When I was homeless.

A photograph of a line of people at night, carrying their belongings and waiting to be fed .

U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal

When I was homeless, I had a social worker from Bread for the City who helped me. First, she put me in a hotel. A month later, she got me into St. John’s program and they helped me get a place.

I was glad to get help because I wasn’t bathing or taking care of myself. They also helped me with my drinking – I needed help with that. St. John’s took me in for housing and helped with my drug problem. I stayed in the hospital for two days with my social worker. After another month, I was housed.

It was a process, but it was worth it.

The shelter I had been staying in only let me take one shower a week. Can you believe that? I was menstruating and I could only shower once a week! I had to wash myself at bus stations and at Union Station. I had to panhandle to buy my cycle supplies.

Where am I now? I love it!

I’m off the streets; I’ll be 61 in December. I was on the streets for 35 years. I turned 43 in my first year of housing.

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