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Brenda is 60 years-old, she worked for 35 years, she is a college graduate, and she sleeps on the sidewalk of New York City.

I was a little shocked when Brenda told me she sleeps right here on the streets of New York City. With all the people walking by and the noise, I cannot imagine finding comfort enough to close my eyes. But for Brenda, that’s where she feels safe.

When Brenda lived in San Diego, she was entering a bus, and the driver didn’t see her got on. When the driver moved the door to take off, Brenda was knocked to the ground. Then when the driver pulled away, her leg slammed into the steel door.

Brenda was seriously injured. An ambulance took her to the hospital, but the accident was not reported with the proper protocol. Brenda then started legal proceedings and filed a lawsuit. The lawyer that was recommended to her wasn’t honest, and the case never went anywhere. The judge dismissed the case and told Brenda she has every right to sue, but she would have to start all over again.

Brenda now receives $720 a month from Social Security, and that’s not even close to enough to afford a place to stay.

At 9:26 I ask Brenda what she would want people to know about homelessness. She shares about how people are judgmental even about her wearing lipstick. Whenever I post a video with a woman that is trying to take care of herself by wearing makeup, lots of people freak out. They have a hard time understanding that homeless women still have the self-worth and decency to look presentable.

Most people that are experiencing homelessness do not look homeless. There is little to no education focused on teaching the general public the true realities of homelessness so people hold on to a lot of misconceptions.

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