It’s no secret that there are many misconceptions about homelessness. Oftentimes, some individuals are under the impression that those who are experiencing homelessness brought their situation upon themselves. Of course, that is certainly not the case. There can be multiple factors that can cause a person to enter a bout homelessness. Within my own journey to learn more about the experiences that others endure with homelessness, I had the honor of interviewing my fellow intern, Zamari, who has his own story to share.
When I asked Zamari about how it all started, he expressed to me that he had some personal issues with his father. He woke up one morning and learned that he had to leave the house. At the time, Zamari was not only working a job, but was also a student majoring in the arts. He spent many nights sleeping in shelters, and wondering what his next meal would be. It got incredibly frustrating for him at times because there were organizations that claimed they would help, but many of them never fulfilled their promises. One of the hardest things was not spiraling into illegal activities. He spoke of seeing some of his friends fall down the wrong path. It was easy to just let go when no one else was keeping you in check. The freedom was scary.
Zamari strongly believes that the best way to stay safe is to find something to keep you busy, a hobby of some sort. As a way to express himself, Zamari used the arts as a way to channel his passion and emotions. He wrote and produced his own music - something that he continues to do in the present day. He also enjoys using photography as a method of capturing moments. Zamari is passionate about giving back. He knows first hand about the daily struggles that homeless youth often find themselves going through. He understands the importance of providing the youth with positive outlets to help them redirect their own passions and emotions. For some, that might mean partaking in the visual arts, for others it might mean writing poetry.
After interviewing Zamari, I found my picture of homeless youth becoming a bit clearer. I personally have never been homeless, and so I never really knew what an individual could go through on a daily basis. However, not every story is the same. Every person has their own experiences and hardships. It is the mission of One Heart One Soul to not only help the youth, but to enlighten those who were fortunate enough to not experience homelessness.