The women in this group of young, working-class, mostly white women have taken the internet to the next level.
They’ve started a campaign called Save Our Lives, or SLS, to help the nation’s homeless.
The campaign has been successful, and the group has raised more than $2.5 million in its first year.
“We started this project to get people to think about the impact of homelessness on our community, and it’s been really important,” says Jessica, who asked that her last name not be used because of concerns about retaliation.
She and her mother, a former teacher, say the SLS group has helped them stay afloat financially and emotionally.
Jessica, 24, who has autism and cerebral palsy, works part-time at a local restaurant, and she also runs a business selling clothes online.
Jessica and her mom say that in 2016, when the economy was really bad, they struggled to make ends meet.
“I had no idea how I would get by and what I would be able to buy for my kids,” she says.
“So we started saving to pay for food and rent, and we ended up paying for our college and going to school.
We just saved up enough to go on a big trip.”
Jessica’s parents took her to the airport, where she spent most of her time on the plane, and her family lived in a house on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, with a roommate and a dog.
But when Jessica was in kindergarten, she started taking part in a special program for children with developmental disabilities.
Jessica’s mom, who’s also a teacher, says Jessica was a standout student, excelling in school, but also in the special education program, which she calls “an important stepping stone.”
Jessica and Jessica’s father, who works as a nurse, also took part in the program.
Jessica says her parents also helped her build friendships with other homeless children, which they say helped them navigate their homelessness.
“My mom taught me how to be happy,” she recalls.
“And my dad taught me what to do when I felt lonely.
So we helped each other out.”
Jessica has a long list of people who have helped her through her struggles.
She says she’s learned so much from some of her closest friends.
“They’ve been so nice to me, even if I’m not the most polite person around,” she laughs.
“If I feel like I’m getting ignored, they’re there for me.”
Jessica also met her boyfriend, whom she met at a campground and got to know in person.
She has a special place in her heart for him.
“When we first met, we didn’t have much of a connection, so it was hard to have any expectations,” she explains.
“But over time, we’ve become close.
I think it was because I really believed in him.”
Jessica says she was initially hesitant to participate in SLS because she had not been in a long-term relationship.
But the more she thought about it, she says, the more excited she became.
She said she has reached out to her peers, friends, and fellow homeless people, and is looking for ways to support them. “
Jessica has decided to start a group for the homeless in her community to help her make the most of what she’s gained.
“There’s no way for them to turn to anybody else.” “
Some people are just so lonely, and they can’t help themselves, and there’s nothing that can help them,” she said.
“There’s no way for them to turn to anybody else.”
Jessica hopes that the SLP project will help other people to connect with each other, learn about each other and their communities, and learn how to make a life with dignity online.
She is looking to find a group to help with the recruitment, which will likely take several months.
“It’s hard to find people who are willing to help, because they’re not comfortable talking about their lives online,” she admits.
“The more I talk about, the less people know about my situation.”
She says that she is hoping that by taking part, she can help others in her situation.
“Just because I have an issue with my disability doesn’t mean I’m a bad person,” she emphasizes.
“Because I have a disability, I have issues, and my disability is not just an issue.”