I used to, like most people do, look down on homeless people. I grew up in a quiet neighborhood in the Silicon Valley, my house was right by a park that I loved, but my parents forbade me from playing in the creek, because of the “hobos.” I didn’t need to ask what a hobo was, I knew they were talking about the people who pushed shopping carts around or held all their things in tiny backpacks. What fueled my curiosity was not knowing who they were, I thought everyone had house and a family. My mom said they were all on drugs. I was always told the problem came from these people not having work, and not wanting to work.
Years later, my perspective has grown immensely. When I first saw that the project theme was “Millenials and the housing crisis,” I knew it would be a tough subject, but, I really had no clue what I was getting into. When I arrived at St. John’s for my first interview, I was taken aback at the young woman I saw. She could have been in one of my classes. She smiled and shook my hand, and I almost cried. None of these people wanted to be homeless, they all felt ashamed of their clothes. They all would give anything to have their homes back.
Thank you Next Generation Radio for showing me the importance of the narrative in fixing the world’s problems. I am incredibly thankful for all the precious opportunities I have in life. This was my first real experience as a reporter, scheduling interviews and working with audio. Despite the stumbles I made, despite not turning the recorder up loud enough, I am tremendously proud of my work and I hope you enjoy it.