Heather is fairly new to the shelter. She’s a striking, beautiful woman. However, she walks very stiffly due to pain. She received her shoes from the shelter.
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“It used to be shelter. I was staying at the shelter for women on Bridge Street. You know which one I’m talking about? Each room had a key to it so you could lock your own door. While I was sleeping, my room was broken into, and I was robbed. The person broke my neck too. I’m not the same anymore. I used to work. I had a salary. I was a full-time housecleaner. I loved my job. I can’t work at all. I need to see a chiropractor once a week. It costs me $60 each visit.”
“I have my own place now. I rent a room from a Chinese couple. I’m Irish. There’s mentally ill people around there. I’m scared because a mentally ill person broke into my room and did this to me. How do I know it won’t happen again?”
“My biggest struggle nowadays is having enough food to eat. I get very tired if I don’t eat. It’s like I’m still in a coma. That’s how tired I become. I fall asleep very easily since the break-in. I had swelling on my brain. I think there’s still some swelling remaining.“
“I put aside $100 every week for food. But, I also have to pay for a chiropractor. It comes out of my allotted food money. Right now, I have no food at home and no cash to buy any food, either. I take my meals here or at another mission.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“How well you cope with poverty depends on your athleticism–your mind, body and soul. It depends on how healthy you are. For me, feeling like I’m partially paralyzed from this neck pain, it’s not easy.”
“It depends on your family and friends, and whether your friends and family have been injured before. If they haven’t been or never been a victim of circumstances, then you won’t have good support.”
“I worry about the mentally ill in society. It was a mentally ill person that did this to me. They should need to meet with an RN once a week. ”
“But, you can still have joy. I’m joyful. I’m a victim, sure; are you a victim? But, I have beautiful friends and beautiful family. I come from joyful people. I’ll always be joyful. No one can rob me of that.”