I Meet Kay
(Post Script: I recorded my interview with Kay but sadly I am currently unable to upload audio to this site. )
I noticed her truck on one of my forays to the local library. The back cover and tailgate of her truck were open so two cats can lounge outside their cages; the third, an orange tabby, reclines on the driver’s side floor under the steering wheel. She parks in the same shady spot every day in the library parking lot, where one can see her cats and personal items stowed in the truck bed and know her situation. The first time I saw her, she was relaxing in the front seat. As I walked past, I regretted approaching her to learn her story (some irrational fear on my part). I decided then that the next time I see her, I’ll introduce myself and find out her story.
Last week, while walking back to the house after buying an ice cream, I saw her truck again and decided to approach. I introduced myself and told her that I’m a writer. I asked if I could speak with her about her situation. My anxieties were unfounded; turns out she’s quite amiable and open about her situation.
Kay is 76 and has been homeless for four years. She lost her home yet manages to care for her disabled son (he’s 57), who temporarily lives elsewhere. She’s not mentally ill and has no alcohol/drug issues but she is elderly and that brings with it its own set of problems. She stays clean (best as she can), launders her clothes, and takes excellent care of her three cats. She is fortunate to have Social Security and a small pension; her son receives SSI. With their income, it’s still a struggle to save enough money to find a place where she can live with her son and her cats (living outside is pricey, having to buy meals and everything on the go). She is fortunate to have a place to sleep at night; a woman friend allows her to park in the driveway so she arrives there around 9pm to settle in for the night.
Not Alone in This
Kay’s story, I’m sure, is not a singular one. All over the U.S. and abroad many people are finding themselves in a similar situation. Instead of treating homeless people like criminals, society needs to show compassion. Each story is unique and until we know how that person ended up in a car or on the streets, we cannot judge, we cannot point accusatory fingers. These people are our neighbors, fellow members of our community, and we must work together with them to help them get back on their feet.
I have a 35-minute audio interview with Kay that I would love to upload here. However, WP only allows that option with a premium site (currently not in my budget). Too bad. She’s an interesting lady with a lot to say. I’m working on starting a YouTube channel so I can at least upload video (if they allow me to do video interviews).