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Life on the Streets: Erin 

Wednesday, Oct 21 2015
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Erin

Age: 21

Hometown: California

Homeless 11 months

Location: Civic Center

I'm from a little town in Marin called Novato. It's not as high class there as people would think. I was a military brat. My father was in the Coast Guard, so we moved around a lot. When we came back here, like three years ago, I found this man, we found each other actually, and we thought we were soulmates. Nothing could ever tear us apart. We decided to move to New York together, which is where he was from. I lived there for a year and half, doing my thing, enjoying life. I partied a lot but I worked a lot, too. I lost a lot of jobs. I worked at this sports bar on Long Island for about six months. I was a hostess. They had like 55 TVs there. And two bars. It was the second or third busiest restaurant on Long Island. It was nice.

But me and the guy broke up, which was hard. It was like this part of me was suddenly gone, and I kind of lost myself for a while. I went out to Seattle to get clean. I had a really good job at Red Lobster that paid $10 an hour just for opening and closing doors, and greeting people when they came in. It was a good time. I had my shit together then.

At the same time, I had just got out of that relationship, which lasted three years, and I couldn't get a grasp on taking care of myself. It was like part of me disappeared and I kept looking for it. I went back to my immature ways. I felt a sense of freedom, and I wanted to party.

Ever since November 2014 I've been homeless off and on. Couch surfing. I've been in San Francisco about a month. The weather couldn't be better here. Definitely better than Seattle. Being homeless in the rain isn't much fun. But the wind and fog here can sure mess up your day.

I haven't made any friends yet. I found a roadside buddy, but I keep losing him. He's like my boyfriend — I don't even know what to call him. I'm very socially awkward. It's hard for me to talk to people. I rely on my buddy to make money. We panhandle or find little knickknacks on the street to bargain with. Like, "Hey, can I trade this bag of food I found for your soaps and razors?"

I've never been so grateful for those times in my life when I had a roof over my head or food in my stomach or a family who loved me and never gave up on me. But I got to the point where me and my family just didn't see eye to eye. We're different. They don't understand why I'm out here or why I live the way I do. So I distance myself from them. At the same time, I try to stay in touch. But it's hard because my bag got stolen and I don't have a cell phone right now. They know I'm here though. I have this feeling inside where I know they're sending their thoughts and prayers. And that's a good feeling, but it makes me sad, too.

Throughout my experiences I've grown a lot stronger. I've found out what my strengths and weaknesses are. Mainly my weaknesses. I couldn't be more thankful though.


Life on the Streets: San Francisco’s Homeless in Their Own Words

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Chris

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Erin

George

Kermit

Lurch

Mike

Richard

William

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