Peggy, 59- Portland, OR

“I’m 59, and I’ve been out on the streets since I was 15. I left due to abuse from my mom and never looked back. I’m in housing now but I’d still be on the street if i wasn’t living on disability. I’m living on less than 800 bucks a month and after bills I’d have 50 dollars to live on. I don’t want to live under a bridge anymore. When I could walk, I could  do it, I could swing the streets, but domestic violence. That’s another reason to get off the streets, you can be up here or you can run.  

I couldn’t get out of the house when I was going through that. Running back to the streets was the safest way to get away from him. Long story short, he tracked me down and found out where I lived. Now here I am with a broken back and a broken arm. He’s a fucking coward, I’ll tell you that. Do you know how much harder it is to get around when you’re living on the streets when you can’t even walk?”


“It’s a vicious cycle out here; dog eat dog. People get frustrated. No wonder people are found in dumpsters. If you were out there experiencing what we experience I think you would understand our anger. I’m still a human being, I put my pants on one leg at a time. I eat, I sleep, I bleed, I cry. I still have feelings just like you, but if you’re homeless or low income, it goes away.

For the homeless women, we have to be out selling our bodies or selling drugs. We’re not women anymore when we’re out there. I’m not! People don’t want to get there hands shook by me.”


“People say: ‘Get these men in your lives to take care of you and help you with these kids”. Then there’s somebody that won’t leave the kids alone, and they end up getting taken away. He decides he likes the kids more than he likes her if you know what I mean.

We have five registered sex offenders, and they’re all on my floor- where I live right now. They get out of jail and get sent to the same housing as the homeless housing.”

 “One guy found out how a cattle prod feels. I was in a dead sleep and he crept into my apartment. He’s not worth going to prison for killing him, but I made him pay, he danced for me. This is the stuff the girls here put up with.

You’re the first person who’s sat down here and heard us. It’s like ‘Please talk to me like a human being, talk to me like an adult.’ It’s easier to live in the streets than it is to get out of the streets.”

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