The ProjectPartnersPressThe Exhibit

My name is Iris.  I’m 46 years old.  Last night I stayed at a stranger’s house.  I met somebody on the bus and I was nodding off and they was like, ‘Go home and get some sleep.’  ‘Ain;t got no home.’  ‘All right, well cone on in then.’ So I went.  Different places every night. 

I became homeless because the place I was renting went up in a foreclosure matter and I wasn’t aware of that nor was I told about it.  Ever since then I been in the streets.  I lost everything. 

I was sexually abused for five years, from nine to fourteen, and I have never been the same since.  I became a prostitute for a pimp, then another pimp, then suicidal thoughts and drugs came involved and then kids, and so forth.  So my life has been not a good thing.  And now I’m suffering my fourth stroke, I just had my fourth stroke, had a lot of health issues. 

That was my first apartment, in that foreclosure matter, the first apartment I ever owned.  I got, from my stroke I had a memory lapse and I got like 80% of my memory back, so that’s why I was able to get a place on my own.  Now I just feel like I’m weak again.  Sometimes I feel that way, but I’m working on my self-esteem, every day, every day.  It’s like I was talking to that guy out there, ‘Why don’t you come and drink a beer with me?’  I was like, ‘When I get done drinking a beer with you, where’s that gonna leave me?  Back to the streets.’  I ain’t had no beer in years.  I said no. 

Housing would be a very big step for me.  I know I’m tired of being out here.  I’m forty-six years old.  I can do this.