Kelly wears steel-toed shoes donated to her by the homeless shelter three years ago.
“I’m so grateful for them. I wear them everyday.”
Tell me about living in poverty. What is your biggest struggle?
“The hardest thing has to be trying to make a plan or a schedule. I’m always thinking, “What do I need first?” I need clothing and the insides of my shoes are falling apart but I want to treat myself sometimes. That’s your “selfish side”. There’s “needs” versus “wants”.”
“I need food, clothing, and also cleaning supplies. Without cleaning supplies, I don’t have a clean environment, I can’t clean myself and I can’t have clean clothing. That’s important, too!”
“My apartment was on fire and I lost it all. Earthly stuff doesn’t last long. It’s sad how some people are raised on a silver spoon and then you have people trying to survive minutes, a day, a week at a time.”
“I’ve been down this path many times. It’s hard to have a mate. It’s hard enough to take care of yourself. The only person you can really turn to is yourself because it’s easy to get taken advantage of. Life is very hard.”
“It’s not a matter of how much people give to help the poor. It matters the size of their heart. A woman saw me struggling and took me to Shoppers Drug Mart. It felt like “Adopt a Child of the Shelter Day”. She bought me soaps and lotions and Oxyclean. Then, she asked me, “Is there anything else you need?” I asked her for toilet paper. She bought me some toilet paper, too.”
“When I got back to my apartment, I cried. I couldn’t believe she did all that for me.”