Niya - Invisible People

Niya


Niya has been homeless since 11 years-old. I cannot even imagine all the pain and suffering this wonderful woman has experienced growing up on the streets and in the system. I met Niya living behind […]

Niya

Niya has been homeless since 11 years-old. I cannot even imagine all the pain and suffering this wonderful woman has experienced growing up on the streets and in the system.

I met Niya living behind a fence with several other women near a major street in Phoenix, Arizona. Niya says she wants to be homeless because of her addiction, but no one wants to live without adequate housing. She has just ‘conditioned’ herself to street life. In a way, the streets of Phoenix have become her family!

Niya is a smart women with a good heart. It’s simply a miracle that she can stay positive given the life she has lived. Miya knows what she has to do. She knows she must get off the drugs. But getting off drugs is not that easy when the chance of her finding living wage employment is nearly impossible. Niya has a felony on her record, which prevents her from getting normal employment and other benefits needed to survive. For example: did you know people with a felony cannot get food stamps? After people are released from jail they cannot find employment to buy food and social service programs don’t allow them to get assistance. It’s almost as if the system works against them so they are forced to commit more crime just to survive, which sends them back to jail!

Niya’s third wish was for God to answer her prayers. Since God works through people, it’s up to us to make her wishes come true. We must fix family so no child end up homeless, we must fix the ‘system’ so that when people get out of jail there is support for them to get back into normal society, and we must coordinate recovery efforts with homeless services so when someone like Niya wants to get sober we can get them help that does not exit them back to homelessness!

 

Special thanks to Phoenix Rescue Mission

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  • cyinger

    I was going to say something, but you’ve just said everything I was going to say above. I do want to say she is a smart, good person who has a future outside of homelessness. All it would take is an employer giving her a chance. I can tell she would appreciate it enough to turn herself around with a little help and the system to work with her instead of against her. Don’t politicians realize how hard it is to get a job with criminal record. To not give them food stamps is heartless & counterproductive.

  • Ciana

    LOVE that despite her condition Niya realized that God is still on the throne and is and will continue to answer her prayers. Challenges me to step it up in my prayer life for her and others who are suffering.

  • Lori

    Wow! Incredible what people are able to endure. Crazy that she can’t get food stamps.

  • Wendy

    Wow…..My heart breaks, but is also renewed with the hope and faith that the people share……..We are all people with problems of our own……Mine maybe less , since I have computer to type on………..God bless us all……..and thank you for your story