I asked Nicole why she sleeps next to the street. She responded they force her to sleep there. I thought it was her mental illness speaking, but then Nicole continued, “it’s illegal for me to sleep close to a building or near a door, so I have to sleep here.”
Nicole is homeless near Hollywood Blvd. She’s lived on the streets homeless in Los Angeles for far too long. Nicole is disabled and suffers from mental illness. In this interview, she shares the challenges homeless women face living on the streets.
When Nicole said, “I don’t know the difference between a good guy or a bad guy until somebody hurts me,” my heart broke. On the streets, you have to trust people, but at the same time, you can’t trust anyone. Nicole says she cries every night. I cannot imagine the emotional trauma of living on the streets women face.
Nicole has two dogs. As with most pets, they help people cope with daily stress. Nicole loves her animals. Without them, life would be unbearable for her, yet the homeless sector is not equipped to help people, even with service animals. It’s gotten better over the years, but there is still not enough shelter space or housing for people who have pets.