KATRINA WAS NO LADY:
We lost everything in hurricane Katrina. Everything that meant anything. I don't care about things. Someday we'll get them back, but now my daughter and I are homeless. My son; my husband. They perished along with everything else. Nothing can give them back to us.
ALONE AND PREGNANT:
I tried to tell my mom what was going on but she wouldn't believe me. Her new boyfriend wouldn't stop hitting on me. Then I got pregnant. She told me it was my fault. She chose him over me, her own daughter. She kicked me out. I'm only 15. I have no place to go. Where do I go. What do I do now? What's going to happen to me and my baby.
RECUPERATING IN THE STREETS:
My wife's been pretty sick. We don't have insurance, so I took a second job just to pay the medical bills. Then I lost the better paying of the two. I found another job but they each just pay minimum wage. It was enough to put food on the table and buy the medicine my wife needed, but it wasn't enough to keep the house from being foreclosed on. Now the four of us sleep in our car. My wife isn't going to get better here. The kids don't get to be kids. I don't get to be hero and save the day.
BUILDING A NEW LIFE:
My story's an easy one. I had my own construction company. It was small but it kept me going. Kept a rood over my head. Had a nice truck. Money in the bank. Then I fell off a ladder and broke my back. The cost of insurance when you are self-employed was through the roof, so I never bought any. When you own the company you don't take out workers comp on yourself either. But without it, I had no income coming in at all. My savings, house, car. They all went to pay the medical bills. I wish I had spent the $400 a month on insurance now.
Now I have nothing and disability doesn't even get me a studio apartment, so I'm out here waiting in line for bed every night.
LOVE ISN'T ALWAYS ENOUGH:
He was kid and loving. A good father. A good provider. Every woman's dream. But when he had a few, he was...well he wasn't so much fun anymore. I got a restraining order, but it's just a piece of paper. So I left. I went to a shelter for a while. hey found me a place to stay. A sort of witness protection program, but he found me anyway.
He promised he'd change. I gave him a second chance. It was pretty good for a little while. Then he started going out with his buddies again. He beat me so bad I couldn't open my right eye for the longest time. Lost some of the vision in it too.
I had no place to go. The shelters were all full. Witness protection had a list. I stayed with a few friends but when he came and beat down the door, they told me I had to leave. I couldn't blame them. That's how I ended up here. I've been here for about 3 years now. It's actually better than living with him. At least here, they kind of take you in and you become one big happy family after a while. We take care of each other.
I'll take frozen toes over broken ribs any day.
WICKED STEP FATHER
My dad left when I was just three. Mom and I went to live with her brother in Phillie. Mom left one day for milk and never came back. Things were okay for a while, but when I was 12, things changed. I had a baby when I was almost 13. I named her Hope. Uncle Doug made me give her away. Said he didn't want a bastard living under his roof. Even without Hope, there was still a bastard living under his roof.
I couldn't stay. I'd rather be out here than to keep being his bitch so I left when I was 14. I've been out here for 5 years now. I steal a lot. Only bread and peanut butter. A girls gotta eat. Sometimes I take Tampax, but that's it. I turn tricks now and then but I hate it so I only do it when I'm really down and out. I found out when I was 16 that you could get paid for blood, but you had to be 18. Got a fake ID.
Never got into the drugs. Sometimes I wish I had, but I never had the nerve. I figure I'm screwed up enough already and drugs would just make it worse.
Someday I'd like a house, but I probably won't ever get it. Who'd want somebody like me anyway?
MY COUNTRY TIS OF THEE AND THEE ALONE:
Know how old I am? 54. I look a lot older don't I? War'll do that to you ya know. Age you before your time. Liquor'll do it too. I didn't start drinkin cuz I like the stuff. I can't stand it, but it helps you forget. At least for a little while.
I was just a kid in Vietnam. Thought it would get me a lot of girls if I wore a uniform. All it got me was pain. I saw more sh** than any kid ever had a right to see. I wasn't the same when I came home. They knew that. Everybody knew, but they sent me out again.
27 years I served in the Marines. Was proud to do it. I ain't the only one who's change though. America's changed. There's a lot more hate than when I was a kid. Lot more stupid people trying to run the country. They make all these grand speeches about how much they care and how much they want to change things for us. For all of us they say, not just the Vets. They's just a bunch of liars. I ain't so proud no more.
truth is, I want to be out here. Nobody bothers me out here. They all think I'm nuts so why not let em keep on thinkin it? I ain't nuts though. Just tired a all the bull sh**. Everybody should be tired a bullsh**, but nobody wants to do nothing about it. So I keep to myself and life is grand. And if you believe that darlin' I got me a rusty colored bridge to sell you out at Tony Bennett's place to sell ya.