“We’re strong people--that’s what I want to teach my kids. Even though it’s hard out here for anybody; even though we go through every day facing problems, at the end of the day we still can sit down and have no worries for at least an hour or so; sit down and eat and joke at the table.”
"No matter how we struggle I have a belief that I can make it. My goal four years ago was to finish school, have a big house, a single house. You hope, but I graduated school and I still can’t make it yet. But not because I lost my confidence or my hope. I’m sturdy, I’m fighting but sometimes you go through the system and it doesn’t matter about your education, what you’re doing-- you can still feel failed by the system and the way they’re supposed to help you. They’re not helping you that way."
"There's just so much stuff that's happening out here... Do you know how many people died this week? When I say about twenty people died on Dauphin and Susquehanna this week, got shot up… When I get on the bus to go home my face is frowning, like oh my God… I don't wanna go back home. I know I'm going back home to my kids, but I'm also going back home to go hear another gunshot…"
"[My son's father], he doesn’t help with anything. He never got the boy sneakers, hasn't even seen him in a year. And he walks around with the finest clothes and sneakers, make sure his hair cut, but my son didn’t get a case of diapers from him. I do everything for him."
"If you ask me is this where you thought you was gonna be at twenty-nine years old? No. There’s no way we should go through the things we go through, whether it be the faults of our parents, the system, whatever… When you have somebody who's trying to better themselves there should be people with compassion to help them and see them succeed… There’s something that can be done. The resources are there, the people are there, the money is there. Why is it not being used for what it can be used for?"
"I wish the city could see what I’m going through … I wish they could live in my place for a month and see what I go through when I have to go and look in my refrigerator [and think] oh, I can’t eat this right now. Or, why’d they cut me off from cash when we needed it? Why did the lower my food stamps? Why is my landlord being like this? I wish that they could see what I’m seeing…"
"The only money I get is my daughter’s money. That’s it, and I spend it on her… like I told my mom, first priority is my daughter, then me. That’s what a lot of people say that they admire that about me. That they see I’d rather dress my daughter better than dress myself better…I’m not going to let my daughter suffer just because I want to dress nice."
"You don’t want to say no if somebody comes and asks you for food and you have it. You want to give it to them. But then you want to say no, because what if my kids don’t have food to eat the next day?"
“When I go to the supermarket it’s uncomfortable. It’s at the cross between my neighborhood and another neighborhood and it’s just embarrassing to pull my Access card out. I feel like the other people in the line are just looking and judging, saying things…”