It's the cascade effect. She said, “Just look at me. You would think by the way that I look that I’ve been homeless for 20 years.” The reality is that Jeanine's fall into homelessness was about 5 years ago. A single mom put into unsafe situations which lead her to hard choices - a roof over their head or safety for her and her son. Before being faced with those options, she had a successful career and was paying on a home and had relationship with all its ups and downs.
Her story is similar to many. What happens is that it all starts with one thing, and then the snowball effect comes rolling down the hill. It is something that could happen to any of us. First an injury on the job and then payments can’t be made. Next you realize that because of the injury you can’t do very much, or in the same way you use to. Then the house gets taken, and your labeled disabled now. You come to realize you might never make the same amount of money again . Your husband or wife dies. Even more grief. You try and trust a new person and they show themselves to be unsafe. You send your child to stay with extended family in hopes of safety for them. Your alone, a car accident happens and your injured even more. Through doctor appointments and recovery you are trying to understand housing programs and benefits. You are trying to live on no money at all and make it in a cold, hungry world.