Waiting for a New Home: Housing ONE
It's been a few weeks since I have been able to resume taking photos of the Homeless for Housing One. But it has been on my mind this summer especially when my family traveled back east to visit friends and family. In the various cities we traveled we would come across homeless people and I would take the time to capture a few photos of them which I would not have done before. I wanted to know their story, what happened and how they got there.
But life interrupted and we moved on with our vacation - but those homeless images stayed in my head. I was excited to get word that we would get to interview and take photos of Christi and Chester, a homeless couple who had been on the streets for 3 years.
I invited another photographer, Sean, to join me and we were the first to arrive. Christi did all of the talking. She and Chester were situated in a small room at a city motel. At least they had a bed, a bathroom and shelter. All of their worldly possessions were in a few bags.
Christi told her story. Almost 4 years ago, after caring for her ailing mother who eventually passed away, she was left to care for her elderly father. Unbeknownst to her, a scam artist convinced her father to sell his house for a measly sum. That greatly impacted Christi and left her homeless within weeks of the transaction. As a single mother, Christi's daughter was astute enough to see the situation and left to join the Marines (the daughter was due to give birth any minute as we spoke, Christi was to become a grandmother for the 2nd time). The father was put into the system and taken care of by others. She was left penniless and without a roof over her head. She ended up on the streets and lived in tent city by the Guadalupe Creek. Tears flowed as she relived those harrowing months in fear.
Christi was fortunate to have met Chester. Together they stood stronger and as a couple things were bearable. But their life on the streets did not last long when the city decided to do a massive clean up of the creek. Human debris was becoming an issue. So they were forced to pack up and head for other shelter. There was no time to do anything but seek food, temporary housing and just eke by. Depression set in and became an issue. This is the point where many folks reach their breaking point and decide whether to become homeless forever or find their way out of it.
Christi feels that forces stronger than herself enabled her to survive. She and Chester are now in line to get housing and cannot wait to learn their fate.
How can you help? Click on the Housing ONE link and donate your time or make a donation. It's a worthy cause.
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