I became homeless about 5 years ago. I’m a hillbilly. I lived in a small town in Tennessee where everyone was kin to me. My mom never did like me. I wanted to come to Venice because I knew my family wouldn’t come here. You have to watch it—the gangs and stuff. I’m here with my husband. I’ve had my dog, Sadie Mae, for a year. Got her for my birthday.
I live in a tent behind Gold’s Gym. This is the only place that can fit all my art stuff and clothes. I like decorating and drawing. What the cops don’t take I manage to keep. I’m waiting for my Section 8 voucher. I want to get off the streets like everyone else. The shelters split couples up. No pets.
We stay at the Lincoln Inn for almost a week after I get my Social Security check. The rest goes to food. We try to keep an eye on everyone. Help them out with food. Everyone comes to me. We give them snacks, money if they need it. When me and Laz have no money I’ll panhandle. I tell people exactly what I’ll use it for—I won’t lie.
It’s not fun to have people look at you like they do. One time I was just walking when a man called me “garbage.” I was really depressed.
It’s dangerous on the streets It’ll drain everything inside of you.