On a blazing hot Tuesday in downtown Phoenix, I met Kevin and his wife Terry(not pictured)both were over-heated, starving, and hopeless. My first question when meeting people in need is always “how did you end up here?”. Kevin and Terry moved from Colorado to Phoenix in 2010 leaving behind Terry’s daughter Mindy and Kevin’s son Josh. They moved hoping for a new start living with a family friend, a falling out between Kevin and the friend they were staying with over morals broke out. The friend kicked both Kevin and Terry out leaving them with the clothes on their back and the streets to call home. Once they adapted to life on the streets, they developed negative habits of the streets. Drugs and alcohol become apart of your everyday life. Kevin mentioned to me that a drug called spice turned him into a monster, he became aggressive, angry, and lost in his use. He mentioned to me a multitude of times that he was sober, that he was proud of the fact that he beat the drug scene. Terry talked to me about how hard it is to be a woman on the streets, how she used to get ready for work each day, do her hair, shower, and dress nice. She commented on my perfume saying ” you smell beautiful, I wish I could do that again”. Terry feels ugly and dirty, she says that people don’t see her as a woman anymore but a piece of trash. This broke my heart, I wake up everyday shower, do my makeup and hair, brush my teeth, and get dressed.. She doesn’t have the luxury of doing these simple things most of us take for granted. I asked ” what do you want the world to know?” They told me that they want to be considered as people, to be seen as individuals. Kevin said ” Everyone says, “oh just get a job.. Well I can’t get a job because I smell so bad people can’t be around me”. They also brought up the fact that they only have one set of clothes and when they get new clothes, the old ones get thrown away. ” We have no way to wash clothes, they are disposable.. I wear the same outfit for 3 days straight then someone will give me a new set” said Terry. I asked if they’d had any contact with family back home in Colorado, they mentioned that they have no way to get information of their loved ones. No addresses, no phone numbers, no Facebook.. Terry and Kevin feel alone in this world like everyday is beating them down. As I heard their story, I was reminded of how this could happen to any of us. As you continue on with your day to day life, I want you to think back to this story and see how blessed you are for a place to call home.
Every single night since meeting Kevin and Terry, I have prayed for their safety and sobriety. I hope you do the same.
Thanks for taking time to read,
Photos by: JAK Photography