Stories

The photos and stories below are provided by the Oral History of Homelessness Project, created by St. Stephen's Human Services in partnership with Heading Home Hennepin and other partners from around the state. The project documents homelessness in Minnesota through first-person narratives and portrait photography.  Interviews and portraits of individuals and families experiencing homelessness provide us with stories of the daily lives, challenges, and successes in overcoming the most extreme form of poverty in this socioeconomic era.  Begun in April 2008, the Oral History of Homelessness Project has collected several hundred stories and portraits from people across the state of Minnesota, including urban, small town, and rural areas.  Heading Home Minnesota is honored to be a partner in helping to share this powerful exhibit. View and listen to more stories at www.oralhistoryofhomelessness.org.

Shawna's Story

My name is Shawna.  I am forty years old.  Last night I stayed at a friend’s house.

My friend, she allows me to stay there because I have nowhere else to go and I help them out, too, by giving them a little bit of rent and because I’m sober.  I’ve been sober three years. 

I became... click here to read full story

Tyrell's Story

My name is Tyrell I’m 18 years old and last night I stayed at my sister’s house.

I became homeless because when I was with my mom in May we got into an argument.  She kicked me out, so I kinda lived in the streets for a couple weeks.  It was stressful cuz you know I went through stuff I... click here to read full story

Alex's Story

My name is Alex.  I’m 46 years old.  Last night I stayed at Motel 6.  Salvation Army wrote me a voucher for a week, to stay there for a week. I became homeless because of a foreclosure.  I had a significant other, we split up, she moved away.  I needed her income to pay for the housing and when... click here to read full story

Ron & Carla's Story

My name is Ron, I’m 49.  Last night we stayed in a transitional housing.  We were in a homeless shelter for two months, my girlfriend Carla, and my three boys: Samuel, Nicholas and Benjamin.  

The reason why we’re homeless is because we had complained so much about things that were wrong... click here to read full story