Born in Chicago
San Francisco resident since 1983

PatriciaMy name is Patricia. I live in DISH supportive housing, and I’m very happy to be here. They call me the Mother Hen of the building. Yeah, that’s me. My mother was 13 years old when she had me in 1959. I got adopted at birth by a very abusive couple. First time I ever stole something, I was 8 years old. I went to steal a pack of bologna cuz I was hungry cuz my adopted parents punished me with food. That’s why nobody around me is going to be hungry. I’ll give you my last. I’ll be hungry my damn self, but that’s what I’ll do. My adopted mother had three kids. One of them was my favorite cuz she always rescued me. She would try and protect me. But ain’t nobody call the police though. Why didn’t somebody do something? For so long, I was lugged down. I was miserable cuz I wanted to hang on to all the bad stuff that happened. I ain’t let it all go, but I let enough go where I can function and be a happier person. Nobody knows cuz you would never think looking at me that I went through all that. It’s crazy, I survived. You can’t judge a book by its cover. I’ll be at the bus stop and there will be some people waiting for the bus and they see some homeless people sitting on the ground and they get to talking about them and I be like, well I was homeless too. I was homeless for years. They look at me and they shut up then. I done take a lot of blankets outside when I see people sleeping on the sidewalk. I gave away all my blankets. I gotta get another collection so I have some more to give out when it get cold.

You can listen to Patricia’s interview below:

  1. Interview with Patricia