|Inez Martinez-Thompson. "You get situated some place. But then, you lose everything."|
"I’D BE WORKING."
She and Shelby have been homeless for about two years, this time. But this is the third time that they have been homeless.
"The first time, it was all beers and tears," Inez says. "But after awhile, you sort of get used to it. Then, you don’t get as upset about it any more."
"The hardest part is that you get all situated some place. You get a place to live. You get a small loan. You get a car.
"But then, you lose your jobs, and you lose everything.
"It just brings tears to my eyes, every time. I can see why some people just give up, eventually."
Inez says that the hardest part of being homeless for her is not being able to get a shower every day.
"That, and seeing my adult son, here in town. When I see him, or call him, I don’t like having him see me as a homeless person.
"My mother lives here in town too. She knows that I’m homeless. It makes me sad for her to see me this way.
"My parents expect more from me. They don’t understand how we could have ended up being homeless.
"My mom is like that. When ever we see my parents, they say things like, ‘I wish you would have done this,’ or, ‘I wish you would have tried that."
"Well, we did do all of those things. It’s just that for us, none of those things worked.
"But my parents just don’t understand.
If Inez had a magic wand, so that she could be or do absolutely anything, what would she be or do?
"I’d be working," she says. "I’d have completed my college degree, and I’d be working at a good job."
Does Inez have a message for the world?
"Yes. We find strength and unity in being more than one... in being together. We struggle a lot. But we have each other.
I ask Inez what she believes makes her special and unique in the world.
"I’m driven," she says.
But then, she laughs, and says, "And I have a great personality."
"That’s true," I tell her. "You really do have a great personality."
This is the ninety-fifth in a series of articles about Auburn-area homeless people, written by local attorney, author, and Sierra College Instructor Bob Litchfield.