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Portrait of Dina


Dina was temporarily homeless when we met. She was originally from Orange County, California, USA. On October 9th 2014, her son, Travis, had “passed away, and after that, ” Dina noted, “my husband of 30 years, told me to leave the home.”

It was a strain on her marriage and they could not stay together anymore. “He went his way and here I am. I’m just trying to get it together; to get myself off the streets. It’s a bit on the hard side.”

Dina purchased a first home with her husband years ago. She loved her home and her life. “I felt like I was a good mother and a good wife. I feel very short change right now. I wish things were different. I miss my son. I wish he was here, doing Sunday dinner.”

Before all her problems started, Dina’s life was being the mother of three children, “I was not a soccer mom but I was a taxi mom.” Also, when she started living on the street, Dina left her dog with her mother.

Dina purchased a vehicle so she had a place to sleep. She spent a lot of time worrying about her security. This included becoming familiar with the other members of the homeless community and knowing who to trust. She also helped other members of the homeless community, when she could. She seemed to have a lot of empathy for their problems; the mother in Dina did not die.

Dina’s next plan was to go to the Social Security office to see if there were any resources. She could not work because she had serious back injuries.

“I don’t know what my purpose is today,” Dina explained. “My purpose was a mother and a wife. But after my son’s passing, I don’t know what my purpose is. I’m very lost today. I’m really struggling. Since 2014, I struggle with who I am. I knew who I was, but I don’t know who I am today.”

Dina felt disregarded and discarded, “Family members just throwing family members away, makes us feel like we’re The Unwanted. Once we become homeless, it’s like we never mattered. I just find it wrong and and it’s not humane.”

Dina had a message to anyone who read this, “My name is Dina, and this is my timeline.”

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin ©2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

 

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Portrait of Sebastian


Sebastian, who was called “The Caveman,” was homeless. I met him in Mojave, California, USA, where he came to connect with churches and to speak to people at the fellowships. Sebastian was called “The Caveman” because he went into church and into stores with no shoes on.

Sebastian was from all over Southern California, that is, “from Bakersfield all the way down to Orange County.” He had a rough time in high school and was “saved” when he was 19 years old.

Sebastian obtained a volunteer position at Tehachapi Christian Store when, after one time, he was sitting in his “office,” a bench outside the Store, speaking about Jesus and God. The owner heard him and hired him to help him paint his house and help in the store.

Sebastian was impressed that I fearlessly walked over to him and his two homeless friends. After barraging me with random nonsense, he said he was testing my spirit a little bit, “you have a really good spirit, I can tell. You didn’t get scared when I saw you walking up to us. Being scared is the sign of the devil. You’re not supposed to be scared of nothin’. You’re supposed to be scared of God, not of God, but of what God could let happen to you.”

Sebastian claimed he was in Mojave “because every time I get upset, or every time I get wondering about the Holy Spirit, I wanna do something, and I get on the bus. I don’t drive because I still drink.”

Sebastian claimed to have saved the life of one of his friends. Furthermore, he had just started NOT having a beer before he went to church, and only had one afterwards.

There seemed to be a connection between the homeless in Los Angeles and public transportation in Los Angeles. There was a task force within the Los Angeles Metro offices for the homeless and there was also an article in the Los Angeles Times about transportation policies for the homeless in the Los Angeles area.

Sebastian gave me his opinions on this subject. He stated that there are homeless people in Pasadena, Long Beach, and Lancaster because all three of those cities are the terminating lines of the Metrolink which, which is the Los Angeles Suburban line connected to the Metro within the city itself. Recently, the Metro System completed their line to West Los Angeles / Santa Monica. So in Sebastian’s words “Santa Monica is gonna be a new spot for the rejects in LA. The way the bus lines are made, the last stop is Lancaster or Pasadena or Long Beach and now it’s gonna end there too.” Meaning, that in Santa Monica, the homeless were to be a problem in the near future, “if not already.”

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.