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I joined Urban Ministry’s outreach team looking for a homeless man in Charlotte, North Carolina. We drove to several locations, and the man was not in his usual spots. We saw a group of homeless people on the side of the road and stopped to ask if they knew they knew the man we were looking for.

Michelle approached the car and leaned in to inform us of the man we were looking for passed away a few days ago. Michelle spoke fondly of the homeless man. They were friends. Michele shared with a tear in her eye how the man passed away with money in his pocket and wearing new clothes. That thought made her happy. It was a moment that’s hard to put into words. Michelle clearly had an understanding of the streets.

Michelle then went on to make a few suggestions to the outreach team. Allison, the outreach director, started taking notes. Turns out, Michelle is a former social worker with a masters degree. She had invaluable insight into life on the streets.

Michelle lost or job and then her apartment. Michelle’s daughter went to go stay with her godmother while Michelle ended up on the streets homeless. She thought it would only be for a short period of time. That was almost two years ago.

Michelle is hurting. She is vulnerable. Although I was homeless myself, I can’t imagine what Michelle has had to do to survive each and every day! My heart breaks for her because I know how hard the transition from the streets to a home can be. Because of the severe lack of affordable housing, It can take months and possibly years to get Michelle off the streets. That’s where you come in.

Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

Special thanks to Urban Ministry.

For more information on Mayors and CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, click here.

Invisible People


We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Until then, we strive to be the most trusted source for homelessness news, education and advocacy.

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