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Today is Khaledeeannka’s 66th birthday. At this age, most seniors are thinking about retirement,  but for Khaledeeannk, she’s just grateful to be in a hotel room.

Khaledeeannka is a homeless veteran living on the streets of San Francisco off and on since 2001. She served in the military as an aircraft mechanic in the Vietnam War. Khaledeeannka is a strong woman. Vietnam in itself was hard, I cannot imagine what a woman who is colored (a term she used) had to endure during that period.

Because of COVID-19, California started housing homeless people in hotels. Swords to Plowshares, a nonprofit in the Bay Area working to end veteran homelessness, helped get Khaledeeannka into this hotel. She says Swords to Plowshares has helped her get her courage back.

When Khaledeeannka had money, she would try to rent rooms on Airbnb. Her favorite was riding the bus all night. Khaledeeannka says this is all very humiliating after serving in the military to have to go through all the bureaucracy just to get the help she needs. 

This interview with Khaledeeannka is a little long, but she has such a powerful story, and I could talk to her forever. I hope you watch long enough to hear us near the end talk about how true homelessness is the absence of choice.

I love this thumbnail because I know Khaledeeannka is laughing underneath her mask. We had a lot of fun during this interview. I hope Khaledeeannka gets into housing soon.

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 Swords to Plowshares

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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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