Jamie Marie is a woman in her late 40s currently experiencing homelessness. Jamie shared that she had an "excellent childhood" and that she had everything she wanted and needed. She grew up in a middle-class family with her 3 siblings whom she was very close to.
Jamie worked for over a decade in banking & real estate as a loan officer. Unfortunately, when she was 45, Jamie had a slip-and-fall accident where she broke her neck. This caused her to go on disability leave, but since that only lasted 1-year, she was forced to leave her job. Jamie decided to apply for her Social Security benefits and retire. However, it took 4 years after her application for Social Security to actually receive any of these benefits.
Since Jamie was not working and had not received any Social Security benefits, she found it really difficult to afford to rent an apartment & this is what eventually caused her to experience homelessness. Jamie shared: "[Homelessness] is terrifying. It's very scary. At any point in the day or night, anybody can walk up to you and you can be a victim of a crime. And the police are always trying to hustle you." She then told a story about how she was once beaten by the police. The police were questioning her and a group of other people, and she stated that she had the right to remain silent. However, the men in the group were becoming aggressive and a fight broke out, where Jamie was then beaten by police officers.
Fortunately, Santa Monica, the city in which Jamie resides, has housing vouchers for people with certain incomes & Jamie met the requirements for these vouchers. So, on top of finally receiving her Social Security, Jamie will also get her apartment in 2 months!
Jamie's advice for anyone in the same situation as her is not to be afraid to use the resources around you. She also said that it's always good to have a group of people to be around to keep you safer.
Thank you so so much to Jamie for sharing this story! Another big thanks to Miracle Messages for partnering with Project WHY to facilitate this interview. Jamie said that the Miracle Friends program has been super helpful!
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