Photo by Mischa Webley

Precious Lott, Retention Case Manager, JOIN; experienced homelessness for five years

“Me and my daughter slept in our car from when she was two months until she was almost five, jumping from place to place. But I had a daily routine: I would see my daughter off and then make sure I was on the grind looking for work or permanent housing. I have families now that do the exact same thing. They’re really trying. No one wants to lose their housing, no one wants to be on the street, especially if they’ve been there before. 

I have 93 people on my caseload now. I see five people per day to make sure that I connect with everyone monthly. I go to your house, I do home visits, we do lunch. There’s nothing like having somebody that supports you, that believes in you. It’s a missing part of the equation. 

“There’s nothing like having somebody that supports you, that believes in you.” 

I see families all the time and their kids get off the school bus and go right up into a tent on Division under the bridge.These kids grow up so fast. They have no choice but to fend for themselves. A lot of kids go to school, but then they have to come home and teach their parents how to read, how to write, how to do mathematics. 

Families tell their children not to tell anyone they’re homeless for security. Sometimes a school knows, and sometimes they don’t. If you talked to my daughter at a school alone and she told you we’re homeless, I don’t know if you’re going to take her or report her. So there’s reasons to not tell anyone. But then by not telling they don’t get the help they need.” 

— Interview by Mischa Webley, NECN Staff Writer