Donna is a single mother of five children. She has been homeless for about a year, choosing to live in a tent by the river instead of staying in a shelter. Although she has encountered unthinkable dangers while living outside- vandalism, assault- she still prefers this over staying in a shelter. This may seem counter-intuitive to those who have never been homeless. But remember that shelters have increasingly become overcrowded, so the lines for a bed, food, and showers have become longer and longer. Besides, Donna says she doesn’t feel safe anywhere.

I met Donna at the Prado Day Center. She caught my attention because she was there both as a client and as a volunteer. She was doing laundry for other homeless people using the day center. She mentions that she has gone weeks without clean clothes, so she appreciates what clean clothes will mean to other folks at the center. (Learn more about Laundry Love and become involved in your community.)

My heart breaks for Donna and all of the other women I see living alone on the streets. Nobody wants to imagine their mother or grandmother living in a vulnerable situation. But the sad reality of homelessness today is that many ladies living without a home look just like my grandmother.

More Stories:

Tory and family
  • lisa from helpamotherout

    As a mother, these stories resonate with me. She has gone through so much raising 5 children and now to be vulnerable to the elements and other human beings is tragic. I hope that Donna is reunited SOON with her grown children in El Paso. Thank you for bringing these stories to light. There are so many stories out there that don’t get the media attention that is needed.

  • Joy

    She has two sons willing to fight in a horrible war that she doesn't believe in, and yet she is homeless. What does this say for this country? Very few people even care. Very sad.

  • Jasmyn

    This is my mother.. I am a 17 year old girl and I hardly knew my any of this was happening. Some people may think. how the hell can she not know that.

  • neyygar

    Maybe if she boinking, she would have a few bucks.

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