People waiting in line for masks
Courtesy of Studio Incendo

This article was featured in the May 13 digital-only edition of Street Sense. Until it is safe to resume person-to-person sales, you’ll always be able to find the current digital-only edition at streetsensemedia.org/Digital Thank you for reading! Please continue to support our vendors through our mobile app (streetsensemedia.org/App).


The coronavirus was shocking because I don’t have a television to watch the news as much as I would like to. I didn’t know about everything that was closing. I didn’t know about the recommendations to stay away from people or to use masks. It got bad.

I’m trying to stay motivated. I pray every day when I wake up and again before I go to sleep.

It’s hard being homeless and not having a bathroom to use. But I’m adapting and surviving. I wash up with bottles of hot water and soap, trying to be clean and healthy. I still smoke cigarettes, but I smoke a lot less because I have less money.

I’m coping with the pandemic, waiting for the world to open up. The city is still beautiful. But it will be a lot better when things start to reopen. I miss people coming to commute to work and to other places. I like going to the mall, movies, casinos, and restaurants.

I have a gambling addiction. I dealt with peer pressure growing up. But I’m trying not to blame anyone for my situation.

I actually stopped distributing Street Sense before the pandemic hit. Between the students selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts, the panhandlers, and the vendors selling souvenirs, there was too much competition where I liked distributing papers near Farragut North. But I miss it. I had regular supporters and I met new people. I miss the good days.

I’m also involved in Anchor Mental Health. I’ve been a patient for about three years. I’m getting good news about housing. I’m trying to work on that and my mental illness — to stay positive and do my best.