Home: Robin Lee

Name: Robin Lee, 35 Date: 8 May 2021 Place: Dore Street Without a home: Off and mostly on since she was 18 

“I have been on the streets  on and off since I was 18,  more on than off so well  over 10 years. I started out in  Sonoma County where I grew  up with my mom. We lived  in a home. I choose to come  outside and be a rebellious  18-year-old.” 

“(Hardest thing), definitely the showers, cleanliness,  having to deal with a lot of  illnesses and disease, and  a lot of scary elements out  here. I unfortunately have  endured a few of them.  Thankfully I’m recovering  finally, but the elements  out here can take a toll. I  wouldn’t say the four walls  necessarily are important  but cleanliness, showers,  toilet, bathroom, a refrigerator, a stove, … I mean being  inside’s great and everything,  but we can really make it out  here if we try. Having your  so-called freedom, that can  go two ways. It’s a Catch-22  because you are moved and  told where you can and cannot lay. There are certain  laws and things that you  

have to abide by that are different than people that have homes, that are inside don’t  have to worry about: sitting  

on the ground and getting a  ticket because of the “sit and  lie law,” or invading a parking  space, or having a car that’s  broken down, it’s a disadvantage for us at times.” 

“When I was younger, I didn’t quite see a community but  as I’ve gotten older and  spent more time with people  in different areas of the city,  I learned there’s definitely  community. We support one  another. It works in a lot of  different ways. Each one,  teach one. You give, I give.  You’re sick one day and you  don’t have much and I have  a plethora of things. I’m going to make sure that you’re  taken care of, and you’re going to reciprocate that when  you see another person  sick. To us, as a community, it could be a stranger or  it could be somebody that I  know, that’s what makes a  big difference. It helps bring  us all together. But you have  

to abide by that, you can’t  just take, and take, and take.  It has to be an equal bal- ance, otherwise it becomes a  shit show.” 

“It is very uncomfortable to  have to use a restroom as a  woman on the street. Also,  

there are predators, male or  female, there are some really scary people that prey  on women. There are a lot  of things I don’t even want  to think about so yah, as a  woman, it can be very dangerous out here, but having  community definitely helps  as far as being a woman and  being respected. That’s an- other big thing, respect. A  lot of times people lack respect for women who are on  the street thinking there’s a  woman in a tent and she’s  doing speed, or she’s doing a  drug, so she’s going to have  sex with me. Or she’s a pros- titute. I’m going to get her  high and … That’s not what  it’s about. Maybe at one time  it could’ve been, not for me  personally, but it’s not every  person that you meet or see.”