“So many men bother me, they come for sex”

10731092_749844165086608_2731900338582923247_nFor years, Mary Grace Trinidad has been toiling away at low wage jobs to send money back to her family in the Philippines. However, recently, she lost her job working as a cashier at a local bakery, and unable to afford her rent, she ended up homeless. She’s been anxious to find work again soon, since her family depends on her. In the meantime, she’s been receiving some assistance from people in the church. I asked her what is her biggest struggle being homeless, and she replied “So many men bother me, they come for sex, even they want to pay me money, but I am not like that, so I keep a knife close to me.” 

10391007_750861978318160_9029006948845171916_nLittle bits of ash everywhere, along with the choking thick smoke. The fire would quickly die out, so she had to arduously keep lighting small strips of newspaper to cook her pot of food. Today she was making chicken feet with papaya. “I love to cook, I cooked ever since I was little for my family,” she said. There were cans of vegetables, some bags of beans, rice, and noodles on the ground, along with a bottle of soy sauce. It takes her about 2 hours to cook each morning to have food prepared for the day. I asked her what her favorite food is, and she told me kare-kare, which is a Filipino stew. She hadn’t eaten it for a few months because she can’t afford it. So I went to Goldilocks and got it for her. When I gave her the food, her face lit up. 

10359540_750862151651476_8584173072401408131_nA few weeks went by, and I hadn’t seen Mary Grace in a while, she was staying somewhere else because of the rain storms. Then I saw her again in her usual spot, and I had an opportunity to give her some donations from my friends, including a new gas stove. She was so elated, she said “Please thank everyone from the bottom of my heart, this is the first time anyone helped me like this!”