Why I left public housing

Building of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Department of Housing and Urban Development

I left public housing after two and one half years on 11th Street NW in Washington, D.C. This was after too many threats of bodily harm from people and a willful lack of progress on the part of the professionals who were trying to help me. They were the ones who had urged me to find public housing anyway. So, their funny behavior – putting me in subsidized housing, then disdaining me — was actually a blessing.

It’s a blessing because financial opportunity has quadrupled since I left. I am better off on the streets waiting on real opportunities rather than giving up and going with a formulated government solution that puts me in housing with such deep ugliness and a bad smell. I was becoming a funky girl. I was more a waste of time than I had been before.

Debbie Brantley is a Street Sense vendor.

Region |Washington DC

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