There’s no place like home


Mickey Shin

By Alisa Chuang, Mickey Shin, Caroline Waring, Shanta Katipamula, and Elisa Apra

For the second time this week, here’s a long piece–like, 2500 words long. It’s pretty rare to see something this long in the Best of SNO submissions box, and to be honest, 98% of those won’t get read all the way through. But this one caught my eye. It may be lengthy, but thanks to the complex topic, articulate subject, and eloquent storytelling, it works.

From Alisa Chuang, Mickey Shin, Caroline Waring, Shanta Katipamula, and Elisa Apra at Hanford High School:

Morgan did not grow up behind a white picket fence or in a brightly lit house. In fact, she was homeless for a large portion of high school. “I didn’t want anyone to know that I was homeless. When I was living on the streets, I didn’t want anybody to know anything about me,” Morgan said.

Born to a single mother who was hooked on drugs, Morgan endured a difficult childhood. “My mom had two men that could’ve been my dad, so automatically my life was crazy from the get-go. My step-dad was very abusive growing up and my mom was a drug addict,” Morgan said.

Her mother’s addiction also left Morgan homeless. “At the time, she would lock me out of the house and she would just leave me,” she said. “There was a whole period of time—about a year—where I was living on the streets. I had nowhere to go.”

Desperate to find safe places to sleep at night, Morgan found sanctuary around local apartment complexes. “I was that one person sleeping in the park, near the convenience store, wherever I could find a nice place,” Morgan said.

She struggled to make ends meet. “There was a convenience store not too far away, so I would go there in the morning and get cleaned up,” Morgan said. As for meals, she relied on the free lunches from school. “I would go to school and get my meal and over the weekend I would not eat. I just waited until school got back to eat again.”

Read the full story here.