Meet Jennifer. Last night, she slept outside on a sidewalk near Times Square in New York City. If that doesn’t break your heart, then this will: Jennifer is six months pregnant.

I first met Jennifer at the Burbank Winter Shelter in California. On March 15th, this cold weather shelter closed, putting hundreds of people back out on the streets… including Jennifer and her husband. Two weeks ago, I saw her on Hollywood Boulevard, where she was sleeping on a sidewalk. (You can imagine how blown away I was to run into her while I was visiting Manhattan.)

She panhandles to get money for transportation, visits clinics for prenatal care, gets food from churches, and does whatever she can to survive. Despite the fact that she’s pregnant and sleeping on the streets of New York, she’s hopeful about her family’s future.

Next time you think you have a raw deal, remember Jennifer’s optimism.

(A very special thanks to the New York Dream Center for their hospitality and for helping so many people like me find a better life.)

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