Stories: Homelessness

  • Young South Africans: ‘They’re Showcasing Your Poverty’

    In the early morning chill, 19-year-old Naledi made her way past the election posters plastered along the streets of downtown Johannesburg to the foot of the Nelson Mandela Bridge. The night before, a crowd of South Africa's business elite had bedded down in sleeping bags and boxes, as soft jazz played from speakers and volunteers distributed hot...

  • When Family Ties Fray, Migrant Kids Can Land on Streets

    The community where Cristian Gomez grew up in rural Guatemala didn’t have traffic lights. So it wasn’t until he was 13, when he moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to live with his aunt, that he learned how to cross a busy city street. Back then, Gomez stood 4 feet 8 inches tall and weighed just 80 pounds. He didn&rsquo...

  • Homeless in Tanzania

    Sixteen-year-old Lenard Baraka grips the air above his head. He is miming how, four years ago, he slipped under a car, grabbed onto the chassis and held on, upside down. He doesn’t remember how long the trip took, but it was ‘very far’. This was how Lenard ran away from home at 12 years old, and the...

  • We Want Homes, Not Handouts

    This is my third visit to Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake, which devastated the island, killing more than 300,000 people and making more than a million homeless. As always, I am staying with an amazing family: warm, beautiful people. The family who are hosting me reminded me that I was the first foreign guest to stay in their house when I...