I am thinking that you guys are going to really feel for Kisha. Her heart is made of gold and she’s short, scrappy (sound familiar? I think we are sisters LOL!) and engaged to a man named John whom we also had the pleasure of interviewing after her.
Nicknames? They call my fiancé and I Bonnie and Clyde because we’re always together.
Where are you from? Newark, NJ
Kisha made her way south when her sister told her to move down to Richmond, Virginia.
When I asked her about her family…she responded: “I don’t deal with them, when I stayed with them they treated us like crap.” She told us she really only talks to her sister.
School life & education: “I went to an inner city school, it wasn’t that good for me…I was picked on because I was small. I stayed in fights because of it. I just got tired of it. I used to just cry until I got tired of it. It turned me into a beast. In Newark you better fight. You better fight or they’re going to keep getting you.”
Jobs: Kisha worked at the airport in Newark cleaning the inside of the aircrafts. Then years later…she got a job working at the same airport. She was fired when she got tired dealing with an irate manager who was always in her face. Her favorite job she had? None. “I didn’t really have a favorite job, I just did them, cause I had to.”
I asked if she liked any activities or sports and she replied “I like music. Singing.” And when I asked her what her fiancé thought about her singing? She said he says what my daughters (the mermaid mafia) say “No, please stop”…LOL!
What’s something you would want people to know about you if they hadn’t met you before?: “To know that I’m human, too. To not look down on me because of where I am.” “I’ve been where you are and I keep telling people, ‘look, you could be in this predicament, too’.”
Kisha then mentioned she suffers from a few mental illnesses. She said that she does have medication she is able to get with insurance but that sometimes…she doesn’t have water or something to drink to take her medicine with. Can you imagine? Something some incredibly accessible for so many of us.
We then asked Kisha if she has to worry about her medication getting stolen (it would SHOCK you how many homeless people are robbed). She said she is really smart about keeping it close but that they’ve had to throw away so many things since becoming homeless, including sentimental items.
“You should see some of the looks we get, and the comments that are made.”
Amanda S: “Do people ever stop and ask if you need anything?”
Kisha: “You know something funny? The ones that are homeless help us out more.”
Was there a specific event that led you to being homeless? “Combination of everything…when he lost his job we couldn’t afford the light bill. And eventually… we had to move out.”
Then we asked how long her and her fiancé John had been engaged…she said eight years. We kept telling Kisha that there are people with all of the money in the world who will never know a love like hers. She started to cry. Our hearts started to break for her and I pulled out a tissue for her but really..I just wanted to let my tears roll down, too.
“I’m tired of being out here. The days are not that bad, but it’s bad enough…but night is when it gets worse.”
Kisha then told us how she repeatedly applies for jobs and tries so hard to find employment. One job called her back to hire her but didn’t contact her for the orientation and she repeatedly called them back about it. Talk about getting your hopes up.
What’s the hardest part physically about being homeless for you? “At night…if there’s nowhere feeding [i.e.: churches, shelters, soup kitchens] you gotta be hungry.”
What about emotionally? Kisha responded to this question and broke down. “Emotionally? I stay depressed. And I smile, I try to hide it. Every night I’m crying and crying and crying. I can’t even describe it, it’s just hard. In the day time it’s not too bad cause you can go in a lot of places like the library but the nights, it gets hard. And it’s getting colder.”
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you recently? She couldn’t think of anything…so I said, what about your man? And Kisha replied, “Just him. Basically we all we’ve got”
Did you ever think you would end up homeless? “No. Well, we had some homeless points when I was growing up but I didn’t think that I ever was going to wind up like this.”
What would you want somebody to say or do for you if they approached you when you were outside? “Just tell me where I can find affordable housing. That’s all.”
If they could get something for you right away what would you want? “I would want the food and the clothes, and I mean money can help and do a lot of things”.
Kisha is 50 years old and she wants to be independent. She wants to live in an apartment with her fiancé, John (who guess what…is our NEXT interviewee on the blog!).
And can we go ahead and spoil ALL of this for you???
THEY ARE IN HOUSING. Shortly after our interview…blessings started to come. Left and right. They were approved for an apartment and moved in and had a WARM, cozy Christmas. Friends of ours collected food, furniture, small appliances and SO many helpful items to give Kisha and John the life they have been dreaming of for so long. We did ALL of this just by word of mouth and only accepting a couple of donations from friends. Can you imagine the impact we can have as we grow?! THANK YOU to all who helped them!
Visit our Instagram for a sweet video from them HERE 🙂
And you know what…this interview stuff gets heavy. Really heavy. So we decided we would ask some lighter questions to lift the mood at the end of each interview…so officially introducing….SHALLOW QUESTIONS! Ridiculous but exactly what we needed to laugh together after digging deep into the hard stuff.
Thank you for reading about Kisha and giving her a voice. You insist her story matters just by reading it. You are a big part of what is going to change people’s lives… THANK YOU for showing up for Homeless Looks Like.
Shallow question answers from Kisha HERE: