Billie is 22 years old and has been homeless since she was 17.

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She was adopted at the age of 4 and her adoptive mother is now in her 80s and won’t let Billie live with her.  She does not know her biological parents. She has two children, now in the custody of children protective service agencies, and has had two miscarriages, the result of domestic violence.  Billie was 17 when she met her first boyfriend.  He was 32 and picked her up as she was walking along a highway near Moberly, Mo., after being expelled from a private youth facility.  He took her to his home and she eventually had a child with him.

August 2016:  “I’ve got scars from smoking, drinking, shooting. I thought that stuff would make my life better, but it’s made it worse. I want to change my life but it’s hard. … When a guy and a girl are homeless together and they don’t have money and his girl looks cute and sexy he knows she can make his money. She can make  their  money but he would practically say it’s his money because supposedly he’s the boss of everything. He tells you what to do and you have to do it.  Yeah, I had this ex-boyfriend that told me if I didn’t make him his money he was going to shoot me in the head. I did it because I wasn’t ready to die."

August 2016: “I’ve got scars from smoking, drinking, shooting. I thought that stuff would make my life better, but it’s made it worse. I want to change my life but it’s hard. … When a guy and a girl are homeless together and they don’t have money and his girl looks cute and sexy he knows she can make his money. She can make their money but he would practically say it’s his money because supposedly he’s the boss of everything. He tells you what to do and you have to do it.  Yeah, I had this ex-boyfriend that told me if I didn’t make him his money he was going to shoot me in the head. I did it because I wasn’t ready to die."

August 2016:  Billie is pregnant and says a woman is threatening to beat her. Billie says her adoptive mother struck her in the head with a baseball bat when she was 12 and that she still suffers from seizures. "I’ve been molested, I’ve been raped, I’m afraid to sleep outside."

August 2016: Billie is pregnant and says a woman is threatening to beat her. Billie says her adoptive mother struck her in the head with a baseball bat when she was 12 and that she still suffers from seizures. "I’ve been molested, I’ve been raped, I’m afraid to sleep outside."

“Yeah, I had a couple of boyfriends that beat me. One was a drug addict and one was an alcoholic. One pushed my head under the water and punched me in the stomach. The other one picked me up by my head and slammed me into the wall. I lost two of my kids that way.”
— Billie
August 2016:  Billie walks to the Quanada domestic violence and sexual assault shelter in Quincy to escape threats of violence from an ex-boyfriend. “I’m just going to say this.  Just don’t put yourself in the situation where you’re on the streets, and if you have to do whatever your friend, or husband, or whatever he is, wants you to do, and if it’s not good, don’t do it, because it could get you fucked up, like pregnant. It could get you AIDS, and everything like that. It’s hard to find friends out there. Sometimes I think if I’m dead I’ll find friends in the graveyard.”

August 2016: Billie walks to the Quanada domestic violence and sexual assault shelter in Quincy to escape threats of violence from an ex-boyfriend. “I’m just going to say this.  Just don’t put yourself in the situation where you’re on the streets, and if you have to do whatever your friend, or husband, or whatever he is, wants you to do, and if it’s not good, don’t do it, because it could get you fucked up, like pregnant. It could get you AIDS, and everything like that. It’s hard to find friends out there. Sometimes I think if I’m dead I’ll find friends in the graveyard.”

August 2016:  Billie stays in the Quincy Public Library during the day to avoid being harassed and to search online for men who will take her in each night. She is now at the library sending out a message for help on social media.

August 2016: Billie stays in the Quincy Public Library during the day to avoid being harassed and to search online for men who will take her in each night. She is now at the library sending out a message for help on social media.

August 2016:  Holding three cell phones, Billie is calling a guy to find a place to stay the night.  He keeps asking her to bring something to eat but she doesn’t have anything. “I’m asking people on Facebook for a place to stay. Sometimes I check dating sites. I sleep outside now and then but I’m afraid. I don’t like to sleep outside. I have nightmares. Some days I just wake up and I’m like, ‘God, why did you wake me up today? I don’t want to be here’”

August 2016: Holding three cell phones, Billie is calling a guy to find a place to stay the night.  He keeps asking her to bring something to eat but she doesn’t have anything. “I’m asking people on Facebook for a place to stay. Sometimes I check dating sites. I sleep outside now and then but I’m afraid. I don’t like to sleep outside. I have nightmares. Some days I just wake up and I’m like, ‘God, why did you wake me up today? I don’t want to be here’”

September 2016:  Billie stands in line at the Horizons soup kitchen. 

September 2016: Billie stands in line at the Horizons soup kitchen. 

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