Living With People Experiencing Homelessness Brought Empathy And Understanding

The sounds of Texas.

By Joy Diaz & Shelly BrisbinMarch 8, 2021 2:19 pm, ,

Judy Knotts calls herself “a friend of the homeless,” and a street advocate. The former school administrator began spending time with people experiencing homelessness in 2003, along with other members of her church.

“It changed my life,” she says.

Knotts continued to work with, and sometimes live with, people on the street, including a transgender woman who was her friend and guide. Ultimately, Knotts wrote a book called “You Are My Brother: Lessons Learned Embracing a Homeless Community.”

“She was my angel. She took care of me for the next two nights and three days. And I learned so much about being homeless, and about being human from Laura.”

“I want things to happen. I want things to change. And things are changing incrementally – but to have this homelessness eradicated in some way.”

“First, give them housing. And then, work with them. Don’t just put them in some place and walk away. The other thing we need – and we need it in all of our cities – we need a plan.”

book cover“I was seated on a bench in front of a coffee shop. Not one person gave me eye contact. Not one person smiled at me. I didn’t even want a cup of coffee. I didn’t want a donut. I wanted human contact. And I was angry; wasn’t even sad. And I thought, tomorrow, when I’m in my fancy duds, and I’ve got good shoes on and makeup on, you’re all going to smile and say ‘How are you?’ ‘Have a good day.'”

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