Real Stories

Tent Life: Reflections on Experiencing Homelessness as a Child

As a child, Barbara Abelhauser lived in a tent with her family. Today she is a bridge operator and writer. Photo by Amy Sassenberg courtesy Barbara Abelhauser.
As a child, Barbara Abelhauser lived in a tent with her family. Today she is a bridge operator and writer. Photo by Amy Sassenberg courtesy Barbara Abelhauser.
"There was a complicated set of circumstances that caused us to live in a tent, but laziness wasn’t one of them. I have worked since I was 10 years old. There wasn’t a single member of my family that wouldn’t have moved heaven and earth to get out of our situation." Barbara Abelhauser shares what it was like to spend much of her childhood living in a tent with her family.

A Stable Home Helped Sam Find Community, Purpose, and a Passion for Art

Sam, a resident at YWCA's Opportunity Place, holds a picture she made of a friend's pet. Sam says that creating art has built her confidence and helped her connect with community.
Sam, a resident at YWCA's Opportunity Place, holds a picture she made of a friend's pet. Sam says that creating art has built her confidence and helped her connect with community.
Read how an apartment supported by the Seattle Housing Levy transformed the life of one budding artist, and find out how you can ensure our city continues to invest in affordable homes.

“It Was Very Cold and Very Dark”: Single Mother Evicted From Her Home

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Gretchen Waschke fell behind on her bills while going through a divorce, and arrived home one night to find her water and electricity shut off. There was an eviction notice on her door, and she spent a sleepless night wondering where she and her daughter would live. In a new video recorded at Building Changes' "Talk It Up: Stories of Home, Lost & Found" event, Gretchen shares her story and talks about her current work serving families who are experiencing homelessness.

“She Was Just a Struggling Person”

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As a child, Timothy Bell was terrified of his mother. He escaped her abuse at age 12 and lived on the streets for a summer. Years later, after his mother died, Timothy made a discovery that changed his perception of her. In a new video recorded at Building Changes' "Talk It Up: Stories of Home, Lost & Found" event, Timothy shares his story and talks about his current work with youth who are in foster care.
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