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How does an experience of homelessness feel?

Photos Courtesy of Pillars

Think for a moment about the last time you encountered someone experiencing homelessness. What did you feel?

Did you ask yourself what the person experiencing homelessness might feel?

During National Hunger and Homelessness Week, I hope we’ll take the answer to heart. Together, we can become a compassionate, creative Fox Cities that collectively solves homelessness.

My friend Steven said that during his homeless experience, he felt utterly alone. Shame made it hard to look others in the eye.

The 20 Pillars clients featured in next month’s Pillars Portrait Project might tell you they feel unseen. They were happy to share their stories with someone willing to listen.

Winter Shelter Overflow Program

People experiencing homelessness also feel tired. It’s exhausting to live without a home and taxing to overcome that experience.

Fortunately, people experiencing homelessness also feel compassion. They know the loneliness, shame, invisibility and fatigue of a homeless experience, and they creatively support each other.

May they be the example we all follow.

Lisa Strandberg

Pillars provides shelter, support and solutions to address housing needs in our community. The nonprofit organization is the result of a merger in 2019 of the Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Homeless Connections and Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities. The Community Foundation supported the merger with a $9,600 grant from the former Bright Idea Fund, now called the Community Vision Fund. Learn more here.


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