Carli is a single mom of two boys from the Salem/Keizer area. Carli has been on her own since she was 16, maintaining and holding jobs. She is incredibly intelligent and resilient. She has survived domestic violence and has fought for her kids.
However, Carli has chronic pain from permanent back injuries and sometimes finds it difficult to wake up in the mornings. She used to be a homeowner and had all of the material things needed in life. She lost her job and her home, and ended up experiencing homelessness with her son. Despite these hardships, she remains optimistic and pays attention to how she presents herself.
When trying to access services, she found that because she didn’t “look” homeless or physically appear to need help, she experienced a lot of judgment from service providers. Because Carli is well spoken and presents herself professionally, she felt that service providers assumed she was trying to take advantage of the system. She found that most services were reluctant to help her, if at all. These experiences have deeply affected her, leading to feelings of frustration, depression, and negativity.
Carli is going to school to be an attorney, her ultimate life goal, but has found that starting from nothing is harder than she thought. Accessing social services is difficult for her because she does not fit into the category of “desperate need” even though she does. She just wants to be treated as an individual with a unique story that is heard. She would like to get the help she needs without judgment.