Trish was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and manic depression.

dpi 17inch Poverty Trush 7898_JAN.jpg

Trish says she was sexually assaulted at the age of 10 by two older boys and has had problems in relationships with men ever since.  She lost a job after telling her employer she couldn’t come in to work because water pipes in her apartment had frozen and burst.  She was later evicted from the apartment building where she had lived for two years.  “There are lots of homeless people in Quincy,” Trish says, “and me being a female I stand out. I’m always afraid.  This is no way to live.”

February 2017:  Trish sits with her dog in the apartment she lived in before being evicted. By spring she will be homeless, living in abandoned buildings, while trying to find a job. 

February 2017: Trish sits with her dog in the apartment she lived in before being evicted. By spring she will be homeless, living in abandoned buildings, while trying to find a job. 

July 2017:  Trish rests in a church doorway. “I got stopped by the police yesterday for no reason at all, leaving my cousin’s place. For no reason he pulled me and my dog over, and then wanted to know my name, ran my name, seen I didn’t have no charges, no warrants, no nothing, and then wanna search my duffle bag that I carry my clothes in, my hairspray, everything like that. When I refused he had to go on because that was harassment. There was no reason for it.  “People don’t care around here. They don’t care. They look at you like you’re shit and they don’t even know you. I’m almost 50 years old, was born here in Quincy. I have worked all my life, have my CNA, food sanitation license, even in Missouri, and can’t catch a break in this town. They don’t care about nobody. It’s old fucks, old bucks.”  Trish says it was only the second week of the month and social service agencies were telling her they couldn't help because they were already out of money.

July 2017: Trish rests in a church doorway. “I got stopped by the police yesterday for no reason at all, leaving my cousin’s place. For no reason he pulled me and my dog over, and then wanted to know my name, ran my name, seen I didn’t have no charges, no warrants, no nothing, and then wanna search my duffle bag that I carry my clothes in, my hairspray, everything like that. When I refused he had to go on because that was harassment. There was no reason for it.

“People don’t care around here. They don’t care. They look at you like you’re shit and they don’t even know you. I’m almost 50 years old, was born here in Quincy. I have worked all my life, have my CNA, food sanitation license, even in Missouri, and can’t catch a break in this town. They don’t care about nobody. It’s old fucks, old bucks.”

Trish says it was only the second week of the month and social service agencies were telling her they couldn't help because they were already out of money.

July 2017:  Sitting on a curb with skinned knees after a fall, Trish cries in frustration after someone stole her purse the night before. The purse contained her personal identification documents, including her Social Security card. She will lose a job she had lined up because the employer had asked for her Social Security card.  Replacing her Social Security card begins with getting a replacement driver’s license. A friend takes her to the Department of Motor Vehicles facility where she discovers a replacement license must be mailed to a valid address. Because Trish is homeless, she leaves in tears.  Job-hunting is difficult when you are homeless. “I can’t get myself cleaned up. I have nowhere to do that. There’s no facilities around here where you can go pay a token like they do at truck stops to take a shower to get cleaned up for a job interview. Clean clothes, you know. How do they expect anybody to do all that when they don’t offer anything?  “Here I am sleeping on the streets, and have always worked for a living.  Never ever got workman’s comp. Never ever got unemployment, always worked.  Never had a DUI. Never been busted for drugs, nothing. There’s nothing wrong with me. I got an IQ of 145. I’ve worked so hard to always take care of everything. Now I only got this dog. My son’s 29 years old and he makes a living, and I am embarrassed to tell him what I’m going through. So I haven’t even talked to my son. I don’t want him to know.”

July 2017: Sitting on a curb with skinned knees after a fall, Trish cries in frustration after someone stole her purse the night before. The purse contained her personal identification documents, including her Social Security card. She will lose a job she had lined up because the employer had asked for her Social Security card.

Replacing her Social Security card begins with getting a replacement driver’s license. A friend takes her to the Department of Motor Vehicles facility where she discovers a replacement license must be mailed to a valid address. Because Trish is homeless, she leaves in tears.

Job-hunting is difficult when you are homeless. “I can’t get myself cleaned up. I have nowhere to do that. There’s no facilities around here where you can go pay a token like they do at truck stops to take a shower to get cleaned up for a job interview. Clean clothes, you know. How do they expect anybody to do all that when they don’t offer anything?

“Here I am sleeping on the streets, and have always worked for a living.  Never ever got workman’s comp. Never ever got unemployment, always worked.  Never had a DUI. Never been busted for drugs, nothing. There’s nothing wrong with me. I got an IQ of 145. I’ve worked so hard to always take care of everything. Now I only got this dog. My son’s 29 years old and he makes a living, and I am embarrassed to tell him what I’m going through. So I haven’t even talked to my son. I don’t want him to know.”

July 2017:  Trish and her dog walk through an alley to check on an unlocked vacant apartment where she stayed the past few nights.  The door was locked so she spent the night on a laundromat floor with newspapers for a blanket. Finding a safe place to stay is difficult.  “I was staying in an abandoned house because the men that I thought were friends offered me a place to stay.  But if I wouldn’t give them sex, I had to get out, and they treated me like crap. I mean I’m talking about four different people, people I thought were my friends for over 20 years. But if you don’t put out then you gotta get out. That’s why I’ve been sleeping on the streets. … You can’t sleep, you gotta sleep — you know the old saying, ‘Sleep with one eye open.’ Literally, that’s what I do. Every little noise scares you. You don’t feel safe.”

July 2017: Trish and her dog walk through an alley to check on an unlocked vacant apartment where she stayed the past few nights.  The door was locked so she spent the night on a laundromat floor with newspapers for a blanket. Finding a safe place to stay is difficult.

“I was staying in an abandoned house because the men that I thought were friends offered me a place to stay.  But if I wouldn’t give them sex, I had to get out, and they treated me like crap. I mean I’m talking about four different people, people I thought were my friends for over 20 years. But if you don’t put out then you gotta get out. That’s why I’ve been sleeping on the streets. … You can’t sleep, you gotta sleep — you know the old saying, ‘Sleep with one eye open.’ Literally, that’s what I do. Every little noise scares you. You don’t feel safe.”

Share Trish's Story