Do you ever feel that people passing are scared of you?
Yeah. I stink. Me and my partnerwe stink. Sometimes I don't even say nothing. If I know they're really intimidated, I really don't say nothing. I say thank you anyway. You know, when they're really intimidated is when they have little children. When I see that, I don't even ask. Like if I see a newborn being pushed in a baby carriage.
I never would look homeless. Because I used to be homeless sleeping in a park. And I was never dirty. I might have been wrinkled, but I was never dirty. It doesn't make sense for men and women that're homeless to be out here, as filthy as they are, and smelling like they do. I used to go into a public schoolor the library, or that store right here, anywhere that had a bathroomand I'd go in there and wash up. Anywhere.
I had three pair of pants. I'd wear one pair and wash the other two. I'd keep them clean. You can make a dollar-fifty to go wash your clothes. You don't need to be smelling, because you can go anywhere and in any store and wash. They don't know you're doing it, but you go in the bathroom and you wash up real quick, and you put on your clothes.
When you let yourself go that bad, where you started not caring if your hair is filthy, and your face, and nobody wants you around, then you stop caring about yourself. You already feel bad 'cause you're homeless, and nobody cares, so you let yourself go 'cause it's a lot easier, they just let themselves go. It's hard ... the lower you go, the harder it is to bring yourself up. Some things you just don't let go, like your personal hygeine.
It's not comfortable to be several days dirty.
It's not normal for people to be homeless, so when they see themselves in that position, that messes them up, and they feel that they can't go nowhere and wash up. Or some people only have that one pair of pants and those torn up shoes, and that jacket that they have on, they really don't have more.
But there's churches all over that give you clothes. That's how I had those three pair of pants, I walked in the church that served me sandwiches everyday, and I walked in there to get clothes. They had a box of clothesthen I was wearing a size 5/6. I went in there and it was bags full of nothing but 5/6. Jeans, shirtsand the lady let me have the whole bag, and I had a whole new wardrobe.
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All content copyright 1999, Cathy Davies.
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