Tuesday, May 3, 2011

REBUILD: You Are Too Pretty To Be Homeless

Tonight I was speaking with a very handsome young man who lives in the shelter. He shared the same sentiments about feeling at a loss when he hears the same comment I hear day after day as I ask for donations on the streets, "You are too pretty to be homeless."

He says that he experimented once and didn't cut his hair (hair cuts are donated free by barbers in training every week) or shave and he collected more money in donations.

He says because he takes care of himself and keeps a clean cut and appearance he has to explain himself more when he is taking donations.

While ALL of us are out there because we live in a homeless shelter and this is how we contribute to taking care of ourselves, for some reason, many people don't believe we are homeless if we are attractive.

What does being attractive have to do with anything?

Am I supposed to be living in luxury just because I have a cute face?

"But your hair, your eyes, your skin color, your body," one man said to me. "How could you be homeless? Why hasn't some man snatched you up?"

Hell if I know!

All I know is no man has ever taken care of me in the way I believe I deserve and maybe I wasn't meant to be taken care of in the first place.

"They tell me that I need to be a model," the handsome young man said. "How am I supposed to do that?"

I don't know.

I don't know why people tell me the same thing.

I'm not a model. I'm a journalist. A homeless journalist trying to make a way for myself.

I may be pretty, but that doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.



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