Born in Hayward CA.
San Francisco resident since 1998.
My name is Rachel. I am 35 years old and I live at a DISH hotel. I was messed up into drugs and gangs when I was younger. I was seeking validation from the wrong people, and I felt that they loved me and showed me more love than my parents did. During this episode of my life, of homelessness, I contracted the virus. I am HIV+. Heroin is very ugly and very evil. It don’t care about you or what you are going through. It wants you dead. I was going to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn’t feel that I was worth it, and I wanted it to be over. I wanted to go swim with the fish,œ even though I don’t even like ‘em. I don’t eat ‘em, but I wanted to swim with them. I’m hungry for acceptance from the world as a whole. I’m hungry for that peace and serenity of life. I’m hungry to be normal. Just be a normal person. Today, I can tell myself, I love me. I couldn’t yesterday, but I’ve done so much to get myself this far with the help of other people, because I know I couldn’t do it by myself. And I thank ‘em, and I thank ‘em.