Our Goals for 2018

This year, we have one big goal in mind. We want to be able to complete renovations on our property in Clearwater, Florida, and begin to house female veterans.

See the Housing for Veterans page for additional information about the housing program for veterans.

This goal is so close to being within reach, but we need your support to make it happen.

Our list is slowly growing shorter and shorter.

Here’s what we have left to do:

Refrigerator 18 cu.ft. Kitchen
Back splash for range Kitchen
Paint Walls Kitchen
Re-grout shower Bathroom
Replace tub valve and trim kit Bathroom
Tub stopper Bathroom
Vanity Bathroom
Paint closet walls Bedroom 1
Paint closet door Bedroom 1
Paint closet door Bedroom 2
New smoke detectors/batteries Living Room

That’s it! Then we can furnish and offer the space to those in need.

We’re so excited to be so close to this goal.

If you want to help us complete this property, consider making a tax-deductible donation of $5.

Every penny helps us step closer to getting homeless veterans off the streets!


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Homeless Encampment Flooded in Harbor City

The last few days we’ve been able to visit a homeless encampment in Harbor City, CA. Their camp was destroyed after a big storm this week.

These folks have nothing, and they need our help. Our founder, Carrie, has been able to visit with them and learn their stories. Many are over 50 years old, and they need transportation to the General Relief office and to the DMV so they can work to get out of this situation. 

Many have been homeless for over a year, and there simply aren’t any nonprofits that are able to help them. If we say we care about our community and the safety of the people living there, we need to work together to make sure people are not living in these conditions. Veterans, elderly, disabled, and youth live here. 

We were able to connect with Wags and Walks to find homes for the puppies that were born at the camp, and we are working with them to assist those at the camp to receive spay/neuter services for their pets. These people have nowhere to go and the city plans to evacuate them in the next few weeks.

Shelters here are full and unsafe.

We want to purchase them 10 bags of bus tokens so we can hand them out to help people get the transportation they need. Each bag of tokens costs $17.50 (Metro’s Website). Donate now to help us reach our $175 goal to help these people.

Help us get these people out of this unsafe area. 

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Veteran’s Day – Operation Homes for Heroes

US_Flag_BacklitSo it’s that time of year…where many nonprofits put out promises that they will help people so they give you money, well Carry Me Productions is tired of hearing broken promises. We are on a mission! Our mission is Operation Homes for Heroes.

Though commonly regarded as an “answer to homelessness,” even good-intentioned shelters have their fair share of issues. Many women would rather sleep on the street than face the risk of sexual assault, contracting parasites from an unsanitary bed or being targeted by thieves and assailants. Another issue with shelters is the extreme lack of privacy, crowded environment and lack of proper handicapped accommodations.

Carry Me Productions (CMP) solutions involve a multi-faceted approach to help find housing for female veterans with specific needs, such as, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and mental health. The following is what makes CMP’s programs unique:

  • Some of the housing options will provide a female veteran’s co-operative living environment.
  • Tenants have the option of fostering a rescue animal.
  • If someone has a pet, that’s okay by us.
  • Our housing allows for companion pets while currently Veteran-only housing allows for service dogs, but not companion pets.
  • Many of the female veterans live with Military Sexual Trauma (MST), so housing women with men is not an ideal situation.

CMP’s call to action involves a shared housing program that helps people transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.  As single female Veterans move into a shared home, they also have the option of rehabilitating a rescue animal.  This is also unique in that most Veteran-only housing allows for service dogs, but not companion pets.

CMP has six programs to implement, but are starting with one: shared housing for low-income veterans (Operation Homes for Heroes).

Other ways you can donate can be found on our Donate page.

Any questions…please contact us at info@carrymeproductions.org.



Needs as Described by Our Female Veterans

I walk into the room where a female only luncheon is held, arriving 1 hour late. I felt bad that I was late, but then again I did stop for water and ice on the way over, which I knew was greatly needed. A former council woman speaks to the women present, the majority being female veterans. I quickly put down the cooler, and walked over to my colleagues.

Below are some of the clothing items I brought, which were donated by a couple of our donors.


Clothes from my trunk.


Clothes set up on one of the tables inside the facility where we all met.


Care Bags (24) and socks for the women at the event.

I find it interesting that CMP asks for clothes for our veterans while other nonprofits complain about getting too many clothes and not enough money. We know that the money will come when most needed, and that what the PEOPLE need NOW (not CMP) are items to keep them warm. Underwear and socks are requested the most when it comes to clothing items. Deodorant and toothpaste/toothbrush come in high demand when providing Care Bags. We seek change, not charity. Help us to change the hearts and minds of others.

A few concerns that were addressed during this luncheon:

  • Lack of affordable housing for single women and women with children.
  • The VA hospital messed up on my surgery, now I can’t work and I only qualify for $280/m for disability. How am I supposed to live off that?
  • How many vouchers are there currently for Veterans? What is the wait list like?
  • There are only a few transitional housing options for women, and they’re crowded. For example, we have 6 women living in a 3 br house.
  • Really, the best VA medical care is in Loma Linda, that’s over an hour from me?

As I listen to their concerns, I can’t help but shake my head and hope people will help us help those who are struggling. I recently came up with a few options for housing program. I’ve mentioned them to other nonprofits and government planning committees, but no one really seems interested to solve this social epidemic called homelessness. I keep thinking, “How can I get these people interested in our cause if solving the issue will put them out of work?” If we haven’t figured out homelessness is big business for those politically involved, well then, we’re screwed.

My goal is to house people; therefore, the huge amount of resources are no longer needed and those providing the resources will be out of a job.

So what happens when people are housed one might ask? Why is housing actually a bad thing? Well, let me tell you:

For nonprofits that enable the homeless from getting help, i.e., those who give “hand outs” rather than “lifting them up”:

  • Government funding is cut
  • Shelters will no longer have the headcount for grants
  • Most nonprofits that house people will no longer be in service; therefore, employees will have to find new jobs that don’t rely on the suffering of others

For those who are housed and are empowered to be lifted out of their circumstance in a positive way:

  • Those who were formerly homeless will have a fulfilling job as well as be happy – oh and they might actually put money back into the economy because now they have disposable income to purchase things they want, not just need
  • People’s health will increase, causing healthcare to lose money as well as pharmacies
  • People will no longer have to be on food stamps; therefore, fast food places might actually lose business and the country will have more money to spend on other things they deem necessary
  • The moral of the country and communities will increase
  • Rental prices will begin to even out
  • And the list goes on…

So, you want America to be strong again. Prove it!

What do you plan to do to help those living in poverty? That’s right. I’m not just talking about the homeless, I’m referring to all people who are living on or below the poverty line. We don’t need everything to be free, we need things to be fair. And FAIR, what does that mean anyways?

Do you think everyone should have access to housing that is decent, healthy, and safe? This is America, we shouldn’t have shanties in our neighborhoods or tiny houses or tent cities…this doesn’t make any sense to me. We are NOT a third-world nation, we ARE one of the richest countries in the world, yet we can’t find a REAL solution to helping people when they are living on the streets, digging through dumpsters, and sleeping in a tent when they’re not camping? Tents are made for camping and hiking, not living in.

CMP has a plan to help all people struggling financially. We’ve chosen to help women Veterans and Youth first because they are the most under-served population right now. CMP would love to close shop because everyone is housed and healthy. Our closure would never happen though because we produce long-term and permanent solutions that require our assistance for one’s lifetime. A lot of cities are stating that they have “no more homeless veterans”. Well, maybe not today, but this fight is not over. We need to realize that people need time to recover from homelessness before we say they are “helped”. We need to pay attention to those who have recently been placed because one wrong turn and it’ll be back on the streets for them.

If you want to see any of our other programs, please contact us. Invest in your communities, invest in the future of this country, and most importantly invest in the people of this country.



Support Operation Homes for Heroes.

The Story of Jessica

jessicaJessica is 29, homeless, and a student at Arizona State University (ASU).

Currently, she is staying at an all woman’s shelter in Phoenix, AZ. She recently received word that since she is young and capable of having a job, she can no longer stay at the shelter. This shelter is categorized as an “Overflow Shelter”. There are over 225 single women living there, and the shelter does not have any resources to assist her in finding work.

Many people ask “How can you be homeless at 29?” Well, if you really must know…her family’s house burnt down, and then she lost her job when the local Blockbuster closed. She could not find any other work, so she ended up living in the shelter rather than living on the streets. Feeling somewhat safe comes with a price, no privacy.

She has been working hard to change her circumstances, but it has not been easy.

Every day at the shelter she shares a warehouse style room with over 225 single women. Sleeping cots are lined up next to each other. They share a small restroom that has only two toilets and bath stalls. A basic breakfast is provided in the morning and a buffet style dinner is provided in the evening. There is a single phone, and no computer.

Jessica says that many of the women complain about the lack of cleanliness amongst the other women. Most of these women lack hygiene items, such as, deodorant, tooth brush, tooth paste, body lotion, razors, and shaving cream. Some of these women have been chronically homeless and some have mental health issues; therefore, they have never been shown how to care for themselves nor does anyone clean for them. The shower floors are also a large concern, so many women wear flip flops that is if they can afford them.

As Jessica seeks to finish college, her debt grows. She has no job, no housing, and no option for health care.

Jessica has been homeless for almost a year now and it has been almost a year since she last saw her family.

Jessica is looking for a part-time job to help her with school funds. If you or anyone you know would like to find out about Jessica’s skills, please write to us at info@carrymeproductions.org and put Jessica in the subject line. We would also like to get her a computer and help her with her resume. If you have any skills that might assist Jessica in finding work or paying for college, we’d love to hear from you. We are about empowering people, not enabling them. Blessings!

The Story of James

I’m calling this post part 1 because I’ve talked to a few people this past week who are homeless. This is one story. The story of James, the homeless veteran in Dallas, TX.

spaceSo it’s been a very busy week. I was going to post something last Sunday, but I needed to let a few thoughts marinate in my mind for a bit. Sometimes we act too impulsively and end up doing or saying the wrong thing.



Last week I started talking to a guy named James. He and I share a mutual friend. We started talking about the current state of homelessness, and eventually it came out that he was currently homeless. And then, I found out he’s a Veteran. What? No! Why is this happening in our country and why don’t most of the nonprofits organizations do what their supporters pay them for. I mean, if you look at what a lot of them REALLY do, they make a profit by enabling most of the homeless. For example, they put band aids on issues, (food/hygiene kits/housing 1st) and then they expect those who are struggling to figure it out on their own. The system is not easy to maneuver…don’t believe me? Try calling the “support” numbers. Enable and then abandon, seems like a pattern to me.

Well, Carry Me Productions doesn’t operate that way. We focus on EMPOWERING people so they learn how to empower themselves and each other. This is what we focused on doing for James.

To start, James lives close to Dallas, TX…roughly 1400 miles from me. The first thing I did was post on Facebook “hey anyone live close to dallas, tx. A homeless veteran needs our help!”. Then I sent a message to the Vet Hunters Project. They stepped up to the challenge. One of the soldiers reached out to a friend who lives in that area. She then went out of her way to get James some clothes, shoes, and hygiene items. Bless her heart! Within 4 hours, we worked together to find where James was located and gave him the items.

He was so grateful! The next day, I chatted with James online. I found out a bit more about him, and convinced him to try a youcaring page. I know it’s a long shot but we had to try. Then I asked James how he became homeless. His response, “I lost my job, and then I lost everything. I now sleep under a bridge at night, and only have a few things with me. “ He told me he had a friend he would visit for showers and food, but that he couldn’t find an apartment in his price range and that he had a misdemeanor on his record so people turned his application away for that reason.

My next step was to ask James if he was looking for work. He said he’s been trying, and that he was supposed to start a new job that week, but that the manager flaked on him. That is, he never returned James’ call; therefore, James didn’t know where to go for the job. I proceeded to ask him what he was doing now for money. He said, he goes to McDonalds to charge his phone, and tries to get change from the patrons so he can buy food.

This was breaking my heart…I asked him how I could help. He really didn’t know, and then he said he’d try anything at this point. So I said, “OK, let me set up the youcaring page, and let’s work on finding you a job.” After posting the page, I went to the job search sites I know well. I found him three jobs, and sent them to his phone. His only means to access the Internet is through his cell phone. He said he applied to two. Today I asked him how that was going, and he replied that he’s still waiting for their reply. I encouraged him to call the companies to make sure they received the resume because sometimes email doesn’t work as we expect.

I really wish I was closer to James so I could help him through the process of interviewing and updating his resume. Like I mentioned above, most nonprofits don’t really provide long-term solutions/help. We need to start working together to help one another, to lift each other up out of our despair. You know why, because we all deserve better. We all deserve a chance to be successful in our own right. Success is measured by how you achieve your goals. Success shouldn’t be measured by how much money one makes, but by our character and how we use our experiences to lift others up. Success to me isn’t just me helping someone find a job, but to help them find a job that they love.

We at Carry Me Productions will not resort to pity or shame or manipulation for your support. We believe integrity, empathy, and passion are needed to help people reach their full potential. We know that you can either help us or you cannot. Not everyone is able to give money at this time, and that’s okay. What we want is to hear your thoughts, to understand our readers, to be able to reach you the right way, with honesty and by setting a good example.

Do not let other nonprofits deceive you, showing you one thing but believing another. I have seen this happen a lot in the last year, since starting CMP. I have become somewhat cynical of other nonprofits because they contradict what they preach. They preach compassion, yet don’t understand the true definition. They preach outreach, but never leave their desk. They say they help their communities, yet take donations for themselves. It’s very sad and sometimes angers me, but I can’t do anything about it. I have to just let it go, and know that what we do is FOR those who stood up for our country, for those who were abandoned by their own families, and for those who feel no one is listening or cares.

We care! Do not give up hope, for we are LOVE and we will help you do great things. What we will not do is enable you. What we will not do is give you a band aid or sheet to cover things up. We want more for you, we know you deserve more, you deserve better.

Large City Homelessness, a Possible Solution

Over the last 10 years many large cities have been promising to end homelessness, and now we have a “crisis”. Sorry but this is NOT a crisis, this is a social epidemic and anyone can fall victim to it. A crisis typically has a solution/plan within a few days. A crisis is Katrina. A crisis is the BP oil spill. Homelessness is NOT a crisis. Since we got that out of the way, we can discuss a “cure” to this epidemic.

To find a cure for anything, we must first assess the issue.

Who experiences homelessness?

  1. People don’t always become homeless overnight.
  2. Not everyone who is homeless is mentally ill or has a drug addiction.
  3. The majority of those who are experiencing homelessness work.
  4. The majority of those who are without a home are not counted in the “city” counts.homeless_workers

What are the causes of homelessness?

  1. Lack of affordable housing.
  2. Low wages.
  3. Mental health takes its toll.
  4. People do not have health coverage.
  5. Addiction
  6. Lack of support services (family, social, economic)

What do most city officials want to do about those who are homeless?

  1. Decentralize services within major cities.
  2. Tear down living spaces so people leave the area.
  3. Shame those who feel hopeless.
  4. Hide people. Out of sight, out of mind.
    Click image to enlarge.


So then, what is needed?

  1. More affordable housing.
    If we do the math, a single person living off minimum wage makes an estimated $18,720 a year (without taxes). In order to be able to live alone comfortably, a 1 br needs to be $416/month.
    Uh, I don’t know any major cities where anyone can find a 1br for that price. No wonder people are homeless.
  2. Stop thinking of only housing those who are “chronically” homeless. If nonprofits only focus on those who are chronically homeless (3 yrs or more), then more individuals will become chronically homeless. The whole idea is counter-productive.
    To find a solution to homelessness, I have listed the types of homelessness by Tiers. 6 being the least at risk of health concerns and 1 most at risk of health concerns:
    (a) Tier 6 (Preventative care) – Just like we do with healthcare, preventative homelessness care would teach people how to manage their money and live within their means. If someone can only make minimum wage, they need to not try to live in a large city. I know that sounds mean, but really it’s not. When I was in college, I did an internship in Rochester, MN. My rent was $230/month. Guess how much money I saved. Oh, plus I didn’t have a car. I took the bus everywhere.
    (b) Tier 5 (Intervention) – See someone on the verge of becoming homeless, help them. Move them out of their current situation and provide social services to help with money management and financial planning.
    (c) Tier 4 (Transients) – Build hostels for them to stay in. There are many transients in cities like Venice Beach, CA where all they need is a room. There are some hostels, but not enough for those just “passing through”.
    (d) Tier 3 (Newbies) – Emergency shelters should only be serving these people. Shelters should be segregated as such:
  • Sex
  • Families
  • People with pets
  • Veterans
  • Disabled (physical and mental separated)

These are the folks and families that are just out on their own. Life took a turn where they lost everything and no one was there to intervene or help to prevent it from happening. Provide social services to help these people get back on their feet. A lot of the time, these people know what happened, but just don’t know how to get back on track. Support groups and counseling would be great for this tier.

(e) Tier 2 (Hotel dwellers or couch surfers) – Once identified, this tier needs to be moved into temporary housing. The housing would consist of homes converted into a “transitional home”. The housing should also be segregated as presented in item d.

This group usually consist of families with young children. They stay in hotels at the first of the month, until their money runs out. Then they typically live in their car or crash at a friend or family member’s house for a few months.

(f) Tier 1 (Chronic) – These people have been homeless 3 or more years. Typically they have become “stuck” in this system because they were brushed aside. Most of those who are chronically homeless are struggling with multiple physical and mental health issues, which can all be helped.

  1. Stop making people feel bad because something caused them to become homeless.
  2. Stop handing out Band-Aids. Blankets and tents are not going to solve anything. I’m appreciative for those who help others in need, but people need to stop believing that blankets and tents are a solution to problems.
  3. Stop trying to hide the homeless. If they are hiding, we can’t help them. Hire them to clean the streets they live on. Give them hope, not hate.
  4. Stop focusing on decentralizing services and start focusing on the gaps of the services.
    What is and isn’t working? That’s the first assessment I would conduct if I was in a large city.
  5. If nonprofits are going to join an alliance or coalition, have a solid plan to address the needs of the people.
  6. Think about converting abandoned buildings in to dorms. (We have a program for this if interested.)
  7. An alliance (what we call partnership) should consist of the following and no more than one of each:
    • Social service provider
    • Financial planning assistance
    • Legal counsel/assistance
    • Housing provider
    • Mental health provider
    • Disabilities provider
    • Education/Job training
    • Liaison for all to work together
    • Outreach group

I don’t tell people we are experts in this sector, but to be honest, it’s not rocket science.

The solution is to forget about making a ton of money and go back to the reason your nonprofit was started, to help people.

So now the breakdown in spending. This is how I envision it going down (if I was a big leader with 100M to spend):

  • 1M for staff which would include all providers listed under item 10.
  • 40M two additional emergency shelters (Tier 3 above). These shelters will include all services under item 10.
  • 20M for Tier 5 and 6. This would be considered more community investment money. Help people move out of the expensive locations and find jobs and education options to help them become successful. (We are also doing this, but our staff gets paid $0 because we have no staff.)
  • 10M for Tier 4. Build clean places for people to stay short term. Provide police protection and get people off beaches and county parks.
  • 15M for Tier 2. Invest in transitional properties which families and individuals can stay in for low cost until they get back on their feet. (This is what we are doing, but at a fraction of the cost.)
  • 14M for Tier 1. This might be used for rehab for substance abuse and mental health. Offer nice places for people to recover from their illnesses. This would be an investment in the community. The cities can partner with some private centers to help those who really want the help but can’t afford it. The county could purchase depressed land to build ranches and therapy centers for those recovering from homelessness.

If you or anyone you know are interested to learn more about any of these Tiers and how I suggest they be implemented, contact me carrie@carrymeproductions.org.

I’d be happy to share. I just want to help people get OFF the streets and make some of these nonprofits go out of business, including Carry Me Productions. If you’re tired of social Band-Aids, please consider donating to our cause. Invest in your community. Our passion is to carry people to safety and independence.

Thanks for reading.


The Story of Paige

somuchMy name is Paige. I live in Maryland and I am homeless. For over the past three months, I have been sleeping on a couch. Before this living situation, I was in rehab for alcoholism. I moved into a transitional house, but was pushed out because I could not find work.

Even though I have been sleeping on a couch for the past three months, I have been homeless since January 2015. During my time dealing with homelessness, I’ve lived in a shelter with only five cents to my name. I was provided an out-patient representative, but they did nothing to help me.

I almost had hypothermia because I could not get access to a shelter. I decided to partake in a study for a clinical trial to make money. I was drugged with something horrible, which caused some bad side effects, so I left.

I finally made it into a shelter, but that didn’t last long because all but two closed. They closed because they felt it wasn’t cold enough, so no more shelters for the winter season. I was broke, starving, freezing, and had no place to sleep. I had very little money left from the study, and I used it to rent space on a couch here and there, buying a five dollar pizza at 7-11, and bananas and juice.

I became a regular at the local soup kitchens. The people there became like family and we looked out for each other. We were 30 women to a room, using mats on the floor as our mattress, and one blanket each to keep us warm.

This has been my life: wake up at 6AM, eat breakfast, and then out in the cold I went. (People aren’t allowed to stay in the shelter during daytime hours, so if you didn’t work, you just figured out a way to make time fly by.) I’ve slept on the bus, and on a bus bench many nights by myself in the dark cold night. I’ve almost eaten out the trash cans due to hunger. I’ve slept on the wet ground. I am a survivor. I have very little; however, I am grateful for what I do have at this time of my life.

I have been interviewing at several places, and just recently I accepted a job at the Dollar Store. I will continue to wait to be accepted into a shelter (it’s been two months since I applied for a spot). I’ll be laying on a friend’s couch with no room or closet space to call my own.

After losing 90% of my things that were in a storage unit, which I could no longer pay for, I have one towel, one pair of sneakers, some free clothes, and one pair of flats; all worn and frayed. Despite all that I have gone through, I still have hope, people have given me hope.

Today Carry Me Productions CEO and co-founder, Carrie, sent me a package that lit up my soul.

I’ve never met Carrie, but she took me under her wing without reservation and sent me this huge box of toiletries and necessities including, socks, food, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, laundry detergent, soap, you name it — it was in this box!!

I pray I keep this job. I pray for a roof over my head. I pray I never end up on the street with nowhere to sleep. I have two months to move out from the couch I am currently calling my home. Unsure of what will happen next in my life and so scared I won’t have a roof, Carrie is helping me find work, reviewing and helping me strengthen my resume, and talking to me daily like I am her friend. She, they, have given me hope and something tells me that I will be okay.

145 Invisible Women

invisible_manIn most cases the public will not recognize these women as being homeless. They are not pushing a grocery cart filled with their possessions. You probably will not see them on a street corner asking for donations. Some of them have jobs, but not affordable housing.

The 145 “Invisible Women” spend their nights at a UMOM shelter. The Truth be told, these 145 single women are out and about in the Phoenix community six days a week. Only on Sunday’s are they allowed to stay in the UMOM Shelter all day. It’s hard for me to imagine this number of women sleeping in a warehouse, plus more that are in other shelters and others on the streets every day.

Volunteering through The Phoenix Philanthropists, on the Meet Up website, I learned about this shelter. At that time, about 3 years ago there were “only” 125 single women sleeping there. Last year, 20 additional cots were added to the otherwise already crowded room. A few showers and toilets are available to them. Dinner is provided by community organizations and churches.

For a variety of reasons, these 145 women are stay at the shelter. Loss of housing, general health reasons, domestic violence, loss of a job, mental health issues, raise in rent, and many other reason have resulted in them experiencing homelessness.

On Fridays, every other week, during the Winter and Spring months I play Bingo with about 50 of the women. I make sure everyone wins a prize. The other Fridays, I provide a craft activity or other activity for them. These are the only activities that they have on a regular basis. Being a snowbird, I am not here in the Summer and Fall to offer activities.

I am sharing about these apparent “invisible women” because my hope is that others will help these women with housing, social and mental health service, and provide them with other activities during the week or on the weekend.

Last night I had our SUV filled with shoes, clothes and underwear that and distributed all of these clothes so that they could have at least 4 outfits. Two women came to the shelter this week with only the clothes on their back. They were so happy, along with the other women to have the opportunity to receive “new” clothes, underwear and shoes.

Carry Me Productions is based in California and I am in another state for half of the year. My questions is “Why isn’t more being done here in Phoenix?” What are other cities doing to help these “invisible women” and men in communities across the nation? What they need is affordable housing, not shelters. Our organization believes that shared, permanent housing can be the answer for many of these women and men too. It’s a matter of communities making a commitment to creating this option and having an agency to manage the homes, housing those who are experiencing homelessness.

Carry Me Productions’ current focus is on housing single Veterans in shared, permanent housing. Our CEO has figured out a cost-effective way to do this and allowing the Veterans to have a bedroom and that allows for a companion pet.

If a small nonprofit can make a difference by collaborating with other organizations, then communities can do the same thing.

Stories from Women Living in The Shelter

thI never imagined what it would be like to live in a shelter.  Living in a shelter is a challenge, but at least it is a roof over the head and food is provided.  Being an older adult, 57, and having to follow their rules is a challenge.  An example is that we have to go to bed at 9 pm.  Yes, even adults have rules to follow.  We have the feeling of a lack of freedom, as we cannot come and go as we wish.  This is hard to deal with.

Having to sleep in a warehouse with 145 other women, sharing 4 bathroom stalls and 3 shower stall doesn’t allow for any privacy.

I have learned that many women lack hygiene practices.  Is it because they don’t know how to take care of themselves, the lack of hygiene items, or have they given up and no longer care about how they look.  Some of these women get physical when confronted.  There is a lot of verbal fighting.  Until now, I having not experienced women who steal from others.  I am living with women who have a variety of illnesses.  There are too many women staying here who have mental health issues.

On top of that, I have diabetes and the food supplied are foods that I should not be eating.  Other women have food allergies, which is another health issue that is not considered when being fed.

Transportation is provided when we are locked out of the building after 7 am.   We need to go somewhere else to look for food, a job, etc.   If we don’t have one, we are expected to look for a job.  Not having access to a computer and transportation prohibits us from seeking employment.  Many of us do not have funds to buy a bus pass.  Some of the women here do have a job and are provided transportation, arriving back after the evening meal.

I often feel hurt and lonely.  How can a person feel lonely when there are 145 women eating and sleeping in the same rooms?

A sense of dignity is lacking when living in “The Shelter”.