Carey | Invisible People

Carey


I spent the day with a homeless family here in Seattle, yet it felt like spending the day with a normal family. The big difference was at the end of the day Carey and her […]

Carey

I spent the day with a homeless family here in Seattle, yet it felt like spending the day with a normal family. The big difference was at the end of the day Carey and her daughter Maggie drove their van to a park to sleep for the night.

I first met Carey Fuller through a post she wrote on change.org “What It’s Like To Be A Homeless Mother”. She blogged anonymously so I had to beg the editor to connect us. From that point on I have been so very impressed by Carey. I have done everything I can to help her and will continue to do so.

Yesterday, I met Carey and her daughter at a yard sale they were holding. On weekends she tries to make a little money by selling either old stuff she had in storage or new stuff she finds. Carey is very resourceful. When she needed money to repair the van they live in she published a Kindle version of a book she wrote on Amazon.com “Writings From The Driver’s Side”.

Carey wants to start chronicling homeless life on video. I was bringing her cameras, but they were stolen at my first stop when my car was broken into. I am all about empowering homeless people so that did not stop me. I just took Carey to Best Buy and let her pick out a camera that would fit her needs.

Maggie going swimming

In the afternoon, Maggie, Carey’s youngest daughter (oldest daughter was at camp), wanted to go swimming. We drove to a local park and Maggie jumped right in to playing in the sand with other kids. No one would ever notice this family lived in a van, unless we told them.
This is the first time I have spent the day with a homeless family. As a case manager in Los Angeles I spend lots of hours with families experiencing homelessness, but never like this. I had mixed emotions all day. Part of me was overjoyed seeing Carey and her daughter as a normal family, and part of me was dreading what I knew was going to happen next.

Thanks to Murphy USA I was able to fill Carey’s van up with gas. I then followed them to the area where they feel safe enough to park for the night. Once we got on the freeway I almost broke down. Knowing this loving family I spent the day with had to sleep in a run-down van messed me up. We pulled into the RV parking area and I was fighting back the tears. Maggie ran up to me with a happy, excited smile saying “this is where we sleep”. Carey then started to talk about the rabbits. Blew me away because I was more messed up about them sleeping here than they were.

But that is because Carey is a amazing woman doing the best she can to raise a family while experiencing homelessness. I know deep down it must hurt, but Carey is not going to show it to her children. She is going to be the best mom possible while they survive this challenge – together!

Carey manages the We Are Visible Facebook Community and the InvisiblePeople.tv Facebook Page along with the twitter feeds @WeAreVisible and @InvisiblePeople. But right now, because they are back in the van, she has very limited internet access.

You can also find Carey on her own blog CareyFuller.com and her twitter feed @CareyFuller

Yesterday was a very good day. People on twitter rallied so I was able to give $320. Today I am going to meet up with Carey again and try and get her a better phone that also saves money.

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I am going to end this with my one wish. More than any other homeless family I have met I wish I could help Carey find a place to live. I feel so powerless. I send her what money I can and I have also helped her find job leads. I have asked all the homeless service connections I know in the area to help – none can! I practically beg media to come do her story. Sometimes it works, but the exposure is still not enough. If you are a documentary production crew or news media please come follow Carey for a few days. The story of a homeless mother raising two children while living in a van needs to be told better than I can. What I experienced yesterday has changed me. Carey’s story is powerful and I strongly believe this is the story the world needs to hear and see.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest and can help please contact me or Carey directly. Let’s get this family the support they need. Let’s get this family into housing.

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  • Anonymous

    While our billionaires fuss over a 4% tax increase. Shame on us.

  • http://twitter.com/AdamsOrganizing Elise Adams

    Incredible real face of homelessness today.  Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Carey and for giving us the chance to meet her Mark!  I’m sharing this story everywhere I go!!!!

  • Pingback: Carey | The Just Life

  • Aries641

    Thanks for sharing this story-I hope things get better soon.

  • Terrievaliquette

    Your smile and your attitude leave me speechless in your circumstance. God bless you and your children!

  • http://blog.moreearn.com Nitin Anjna

    You are working on great cause. thanks

  • http://twitter.com/andreaskopp Andreas Kopp

    Hi Carey, 8 years homeless with two children. How is this possible? How much would be the fix cost you need to get a apartment etc. where you life? Why is there no help for you?

  • sabrina

    Please be ready to look into the state of michigan. As of october 1,2011 the new welfare laws have gone into effect. You may google to see news articles and videos. Thousands of families are having their benefits tooken from them. In a state where there are no jobs, and a state with still one of the highest number’s of unemployment. Our homeless shelter’s are bracing themselves along with other organizations. This will be a time for hardship as we now will see the effects of our  economy take over. I believe homelessness will hit so hard in michigan, no more will families be invisible. I have spent this weekend staying up late and worrying about thousands of children in michigan that are in poverty now? Will only suffer much more and much most. Why does my heart extend towards these people? I don’t know? I have even prayed about them and about my worries for them. Almost like i was a victim, or a casualty of homelessness. Neither the less I am, but I feel I have a purpose, and a duty. I just don’t know how, when or where. My beautiful state will now see another side..stay tuned.

  • http://www.bernixiong.com/ Berni Xiong (sh-UNG)

    This story just touches my heart. What courage and strength Carey and her daughters have exemplified despite how challenging life has been for them. Let this be a reminder that we must not take our resourcefulness for granted. We could learn a thing or two from this family about using creativity when it matters most. No excuses.