10 Perspectives from People Who’ve Dealt with Homelessness

Source: Whisper

I’ve recently noticed a trend in language in which phrases like “homeless people” or “the homeless” are being phased out in favor of “people experiencing homelessness.”

While I do find it grammatically clunky in certain contexts, it makes total sense to me. The way we speak about each other matters. It reinforces ideas good and bad.

“Homeless person” sort of subtly enforces the idea that being homeless is their primary identity. It’s a bit reductionist and fatalistic, even without intending to be. “Person experiencing homelessness,” while technically the same, reminds the listener that their housing state isn’t who they are, nor does it need to be permanent.

But to get the scoop on what that’s really like, let’s get to some anonymous contributors who have been there.

10. “I ate like a king”

I don’t know a lot of kings who go to Costco, but I applaud you nonetheless.

Source: Whisper

9. “I purposefully hurt myself”

It’s similar to the stories you hear about people committing petty crimes so they can at least have the food and shelter of a jail cell.

Source: Whisper

8. “It’s not something I’m proud of”

As crimes go, I think we can kinda let this one fade into the past.

Source: Whisper

7. “I can’t help but automatically think”

I’ve never been homeless and I still wonder where people go in Chicago when the snow hits…

Source: Whisper

6. “I feel guilty”

It’s a strange warping of perspective.

Source: Whisper

5. “I almost want to go back”

Note the almost in there, that’s important.

Source: Whisper

4. “It’s a security blanket”

We cling to what we know.

Source: Whisper

3. “Now…”

And that’s downright normal for a lot of us…

Source: Whisper

2. “I overate every chance I could”

The starvation mentality is killer.

Source: Whisper

1. “I keep crying”

Tears of joy, I presume.

Source: Whisper

Remember to be compassionate.

Do you have any experiences with homelessness?

Tell us in the comments.