New York City. Jen & Robert. 5.11.17
Could you imagine leaving your home, flying clear across the country for the promise of a job, only to find out that the job is a scam? At twenty dollars per week (far less than the pay that was agreed upon), your quality of living suffers. And the housing that you are provided? Well...it's a debilitated trailer.
So...defeated, you do the only thing you can think of, you leave. You hitch a ride with a truck driver from Florida to New York. While grateful for the generosity of a stranger, you are still far from your final destination of Maine. And while your family is offering you a place to stay, their hospitality ends there; as they are in no position to help financially and the bitterness about you leaving to join the carnival remains.
Therefore, you do what you have to: You take to the streets of the greatest city in earth and rely on the kindness of strangers.
Your accommodations are - surprisingly - far worse than they were in Florida. You are sleeping on pavement and using a tarp for shelter from the rain (well until the business owner asked you to move). You have considered shelters, but New York City separates the homeless by gender and you would prefer to stick together. Oh! And I forget to mention that somewhere along the line you lost your license; therefore you aren't able to take advantage of any services requiring an ID (which is about 90%).
It is only $212.00 for two train tickets to Maine. So...for ten days you do the only thing you can do (again). You sit outside a heavy trafficked area in Times Square with a cardboard sign and hope that people will not simply look past you*.
*We did not look past Jen and Robert. In fact we circled back to their location, specifically to speak with them. They were kind, thankful, and surprisingly optimistic. It is my hope that their remaining days in New York were filled with well intentioned strangers and that, in the near future, they find themselves in Maine surrounded by family and an array of possibilities.