Are you homeless?

Day 11–July 14 (Everett, PA-Bedford, PA 10.3 miles)

It should be a simple question: Do you consider yourself to be homeless? But it is a question that I find I cannot easily answer. I have a post office box. I have an apartment in Virginia that is being subleased. I have the means to provide a roof over my head. But I do know where my head will rest at the end of the day. So when a reporter from the Bedford Gazette asked me today if I consider myself to be homeless I decided my answer was yes.

The morning began with me brushing my teeth and changing into clean clothes in the bathroom of a Sheetz gas station in Everett, Pa. The bathroom was clean and I had showered the day before, so it should not have been a major issue. Instead, I was angry. My trip may be by choice–and with it comes the occasional lack of a shower–but for lots of people resorting to public restrooms for hygiene is not a choice. And I found myself very angry–angry that while many in Everett were in their homes getting ready for the day, I, and the millions in this country who struggle with homelessness and poverty, did what we could to get by. Standing in the bathroom putting on deodorant I felt like an outsider, ignored by those in this country with economic means.

– By Jennifer E. Cooper