What you all ask for the most are updates on the homeless people we talk to and longer interviews. Whenever possible, I am now trying to extend the conversations. Lots of it depends on how long people want to talk and the environment surrounding us. As support for Invisible People grows, one of our goals is to provide updates on people whenever possible. Right now updates happen organically.
I met Laura last year when I visited Gainesville, Florida for the first time. Laura is one of those people that continues to remain positive even though she is sleeping outside homeless. Laura shared in her first interview about being abused as a child and becoming a sex worker. Life is exceptionally challenging for homeless women, yet, laura’s personality and her smile stuck with me.
The moment I arrived back in Gainesville I started to look for Laura. I was hoping for the best but expected the worse. Most of the people interviewed on Invisible People are still homeless. A few have found a path to housing. Several have died. It’s not the service providers are not giving their all, the homeless services system is broken, and more resources are needed.
I met a homeless woman who confirmed with me Laura was still sleeping outside. I then aggressively started to look for her. I walked to the local park where we first met a few times every day but no Laura. Then walking through a farmers market there she was sitting and smiling! You’d never know Laura is homeless by the looks of her. I was so happy to see her but saddened she’s still outside!
All homeless people adapt to their situation in one way or another. What I have seen is the people who have experienced the most childhood trauma have the hardest time surviving homelessness. Laura is an extraordinary person. She spends her time working on personal growth and volunteering. There is no doubt in my mind that if homeless services were able to get Laura inside into her own place, in a short period of time, Laura would become self-sufficient again.
We’ve now made it easy for you to contact your legislators to demand they make ending homelessness a priority. Click here and speak up to help people like Laura.