In our words, in our community
Photograph by Macaulay Lerman
Audio by Vermont Folklife
1. "I have been homeless for many years." (:52)
I am living in this shelter right now. And I have three children. I have two boys and a girl. And a granddaughter, who I'm very, very proud of. She's going to be two in September. And I have been homeless for many years. I have been running from Burlington to St Albans for maybe my, just about my whole life. You know, it's been hard because I had three children and I was a single mom and I just moved--I had moved to the shelter. This is my third time. And actually, I don't mind being here. It's been great. You know, it's hard being with other people that you don't really know and having their personalities be different. But other than that, I'm getting along very well with them. You know what I mean? I'm glad I get along with everybody, so, at least I try my best.
2. "I got into drugs because I have a back problem." (1:04)
I, the only--I got into drugs because I liked the feeling. I was zoning out constantly. You know, my kids were getting older, so they were pretty much doing their own independent stuff. So I just kept using. And that's why we we're, like I said, that's why we ended up homeless. That's part of my addiction. I got into drugs because I have a back problem. I have a herniated disc in my back. They were giving me Percocets. And, that's what I was getting high on. So, from there, I just kept using. I kept buying. So my doctors kept prescribing me Percocets. And that's why I started getting into drugs. I have a back problem bad. And, I'm on meds for it now. But nothing I mean, nothing that’s important. But, so, yeah, that's how I ended up, because I was getting prescribed them. So it was easy to get high on them. I was getting quite a few of them. So I was eating them like candy and I liked the feeling, so I kept using.
3. "I wish I would have gotten clean sooner..." (1:10)
Yes, I've been clean for seven years now. I'm not "clean," clean. I might have been on Suboxone, so. But it's better than I was losing everything. From day to day. And that's how we ended up losing our apartment is because I couldn't pay the bills. My drug was, my drug habit was more important. And when I started losing my apartment, I ended up figuring that, my kids were getting older--my kids, I did drugs, she won't lie, I snorted pills right in front of them. And now, you know, looking back now, being older, it's a terrible thing, you know what I mean? To see how your kids go through it. You know what I mean? I would never do it again. I wish I would have gotten clean sooner, you know, than losing my apartment. But I didn't. And I regret it today. I really do. Like I am, I have been clean for seven years. I've only use my one, I only use the drugs that I prescribed. I don't go out and look for stuff. Which, now, looking back, you know, being older, my kids being older, I wish I would have thought of that before and not got into drugs. I was the only one in my family that did. None of my sisters got into it. I was the only one. And my drug habit was more important than my bills. It's been very hard. I have a lot of regrets. Let's just put it that way. I do.