She is often shunned or ignored.


This is “Melody” she hears voices. She has been homeless for the past 6 months. She told me that one of the dangers at night for her is that she can be raped, as she has already been assaulted before. During the day she walks around downtown begging for change or food. She is often shunned or ignored by people or chased away by security guards for being a ‘pest.’ When I saw her begging in the street, I went to the market and bought her some fresh fruit; apples and peaches. It turns out she has no teeth, so she couldn’t eat them. So we walked around Little Tokyo and I treated her to whatever she wanted to eat. Sadly she waited outside of the market or restaurants because she was afraid of the security guards. As I came out of the restaurant with her dinner, from a distance I saw her sitting on the bench waiting for me while people walked by staring at her. I felt really moved where I wanted to cry. She ate very quickly as she was very hungry. Then we sat together on the bench and she shared with me stories of her life, her family, as well as her struggles with her psychiatric condition. I asked “Melody, do you still hear voices now?” and she responded with “I can hear yours…” and we both smiled.