The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Washington DC

In DC many homeless people have mental and physical disabilities- how can we help? As I stood at the bus stop beside this woman I put myself in her shoes- if I was in her situation, not in a stable mind frame, what could I do to get help. I was in this situation of homelessness and I saw her and she was in an even worse situation than I was, and I felt a lot of emotions- fear, that I also would end up in a worse situation, I felt a desire to help her, and I felt helpless, helpless to aid her situation and helplessness in my own situation.

This was in Eastern Market, I was leaving the motel where I was placed to take my daughter to daycare, it had snowed really badly and the sidewalk wasn’t clear for weeks. This made taking my daughter to her daycare really difficult and dangerous. One day I fell and dislocated my ACL and hurt my tailbone- I couldn’t go to work for a month and it was extremely painful to walk. I still have problems with that same leg to this day.

My daughter was really happy to be in a new environment. I wasn’t stressed out anymore, or moving from place to place. Each place had different problems. We both felt really at peace. We felt really blessed to be at a place where we felt safe and there wasn’t anybody treating us like we were nothing. We were both really happy.

I was still homeless, I was still struggling to take my daughter to see a nanny so that I could go to work. I had to take a metro and a bus and the commute was difficult and I was feeling sad. But I looked in the mirror and thought to myself that there’s always something to smile about. Even though I was the one who was exhausted, my daughter was the one who was falling asleep, and that made me laugh.

This is a major issue in DC. The government says they are trying to pick up the trash in the District. But each day when I walked by the trash was still there on the ground. Even though people were living and working in the area it seemed abandoned because of all the trash on the ground. Even though the government claims to be helping the environment, I never saw a street cleaning car or trash collecting car pass through there.

As a District citizen, a working single parent, I still get rejected from housing waitlist due to the overwhelming numbers of citizens rushing for housing for the safety and security for their families. How does the district government better organize these waitlist housing areas? By giving out numbers limiting the line or a time when you can start getting in line. Giving equal opportunity to working families to survive, have a place of their own. Not subjecting working families to homelessness.

While the non-affordable homes are being built, I sit in my mother’s home seeking, searching, and striving to become a home owner or even an apartment renter. The district is a thriving city. I wonder why the system and people of the city can’t thrive together. No matter what one's pay is, every working person should be able to be housed safely.

As they continue to build for the wealthy and forget about the working class people who are looking for an affordable and safe place, I wonder why they are not seeking to build for families instead of couples without children that’s wealthy. I understand money makes the world go around, but then you will have more homelessness in the Nation’s Capital that the government will have to fund to provide shelter for these families.

As I take a look as to what is being built in Washington, DC, the first thing that comes to mind is non-affordable homes, condos or apartments for single working mothers. These apartments are gorgeous, but I don’t get wrapped up in that thought. I enjoy the scene but understand that I cannot afford that home for my daughter and I at the time.

I am a working woman who is barely making it to the next pay check. I have a growing three year old, who I want to provide with a good education. I sacrifice an abundance of things to provide for her. Not shown are my credit card bill as well as my student loan. As you can see my monthly charges are partially met. Due to kind hearted people who understand life, I can truly pay all my dues. Some are on time, others I make arrangements to pay. 

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