I was 16 years old when I found myself without a home. At that time I didn’t understand the true meaning of what homelessness was.
Growing up I always thought homeless people were drug addicts and people who never finished high school. My mom would always point out that I should never allow myself to be like the homeless people we would drive passed. I was taught being homeless was the persons fault, so imagine my surprise when It happened to me.
HOMELESS. What does that mean to you?
According to the dictionary,
plural noun: the homeless adjective: homeless
- (of a person) without a home, and therefore typically living on the streets.: “the plight of young homeless people” “charities for the homeless”.
I was that person, a person without a home.
I wasn’t on drugs.
I wasn’t mentally ill.
I was a 16 year old high school girl who never thought this would happen to her.
Luckily for me, I never had to live on the streets but there were days I had nowhere to sleep and I would sit at the bus station all night until the morning. I would find friends to hang out with just to have somewhere to be and some days/nights were spent crashing at friends house.
No one really knew. I was ashamed and most of all I didn’t want to be deported. Being a homeless immigrant was terrifying at that time. I felt like I was alone and I was scared.
The stigmas surrounding homelessness is that homeless people are ‘uneducated”, “lazy”, “don’t want to work” or “they’re worthless”. Im here to help break those stigmas and raise awareness to homelessness because homeless people are still human.
Poverty plays a big role in homelessness, a unhealthy household plays a big role in homeless youths, mental illness plays a big role in homelessness and sometime life just SUCKS!
They’re are so many people who are homeless but you probably don’t notice them because they don’t look “dirty” or “crazy” or “strung out on drugs”. Homelessness doesn’t have a face and it can happen to ANYONE of us.
That’s why ITAVFoundation and I are raising money and sleeping outside to help raise awareness to homelessness and homeless youths.
“As of 2017 there were around 554,000 homeless people in the United States on a given night.” – National Alliance to End Homelessness
“Every Year, More Than 2 Million Kids in America Will Face a Period of Homelessness” – Covenant House
On Friday, March 22, 2019 I’ll be sleeping outside from 7:00 PM – 7:00 AM
Join me or donate visit https://www.sleepout.org/team/7722