With so many homeless folks in our community and such exorbitant rents and low availability of housing, it’s hard to imagine any of our homeless neighbors overcoming the odds against finding long term housing. But it does happen, especially with patience, luck, and the support of programs like The Living Room (TLR) that helps people connect with and take full advantage of the resources.
So I was delighted that soon after moving with her kitty into her own apartment in downtown Santa Rosa, Marsha was willing to tell me her story so that I could share it.
I was struck by Marsha’s sweet countenance even when sharing experiences of homelessness and physical illness. She had made friends with the guards and ticket sellers at the transit station who understood that the benches were a safe place to sleep at night. With a chuckle she remembered, “And in the morning me and the others (homeless) would go to the nearby donut shop for coffee.” She discovered that the solution to not getting your stuff ripped off while you slept was to tie your backpack to the bench. And although she ended up getting pneumonia, a place in TLR’s transitional housing opened up in time and she got treatment.
You can see more portrait stories like Marsha’s, as different as the women are, in my art show titled This is My Story: Women and Homelessness, currently on virtual exhibition at the Santa Rosa Arts website. I hope you’ll take a look if you haven’t already.