The night before this interview it rained in Austin, and all of Crystal’s belongings in their tent got wet. She has strong faith in God and believes He provided the rain as a way for her to wash some of her clothes. Homelessness is hard. Looking at life with a positive attitude makes a world of difference.
Crystal survives by “flying a sign” panhandling on an exit ramp. She feels she is being run off by other homeless people who are on drugs and alcohol. Crystal says her and her partner panhandled 2 hours each day for 3 days and only raised $50 between the two of them.
Crystal says she has a gluten issue and there are only three warm meals served every week unless they raise money to buy food.
This is not Crystal’s first time homeless, but this time she has been sleeping outside for two and a half years!
I believe strongly that we need to be open and honest about homelessness and not just cherry pick stories to share. Homelessness is as complex as humans are. The point of our work is not getting a viewer to like or dislike anyone but to educate the general public on the realities of homelessness. Everyone deserves respect and grace no matter their personality or situation! Housing homeless people saves lives and saves taxpayer money!