Houston's Working Class Gets Bumped into Homelessness and Poverty by the Crashing Economy

An already strained system struggles to accommodate a new breed of homeless.

The items they salvaged are scattered around the apartment, which feels like a hospital waiting room. There are some pictures on a small bookshelf (they can't hang anything on the walls), including a prom photo of Lorenzo and Derly, and a stack of still-packed boxes rests in a corner by the door. Lorenzo and Derly sit together on their generic couch, with Jasmine asleep on their laps. Derly recently found out that she is three months pregnant; when she told Lorenzo, he ran outside to the water fountain.

Lorenzo can sleep now, because he has options. After an exhaustive search, he landed a job driving a Metro bus, which begins this week. He'll start part-time, without benefits, and work his way up. From there it will take another four years, he thinks, for the family to make it back to Alief.

Lorenzo steals a glance out the window, in the direction of his mother's house.

Earnest Dyer reaches out to Russell Parish, a homeless man in Hermann Park. As the social services coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul, Dyer now sees people like himself facing homelessness. Former donors are even asking for help.
Daniel Kramer
Earnest Dyer reaches out to Russell Parish, a homeless man in Hermann Park. As the social services coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul, Dyer now sees people like himself facing homelessness. Former donors are even asking for help.
One-third of the 300 students at J. Will Jones Elementary are homeless, and the number is growing. Principal Brian Flores says homeless families have trouble finding the right help on their own.
Daniel Kramer
One-third of the 300 students at J. Will Jones Elementary are homeless, and the number is growing. Principal Brian Flores says homeless families have trouble finding the right help on their own.

"Here I am," he says, more to himself than anyone else. "Back to where it all began."

mike.giglio@houstonpress.com

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...