JAQUAN, 24

I've been on the streets on and off since I was 14. I know how to survive on the streets. I would find places open 24 hours. I would sleep in overnight laundramats, or 24 hour McDonalds (but they wake you up if you put your head down). I had a membership at Planet Fitness, and I would sit in the massage chair to stay warm. Or I would sneak into a building and sleep in the hallway.
 
I told my favorite cousin I was Bi, and was dating a guy. She outed me to my family. My mother didn't handle it well. When she got mad she would call me names, put any ignorant gay stereotype on me. She basically disowned me.
 
Last year I stayed at the 30th Street Men's Shelter for two months. I won't go back. It's dirty, it's scary. There's lots of people in there, it's a big scary place. Like a jail, that's what it felt like.
 
I was especially uncomfortable in the showers. It was so scary I only showered three times. There were hardly any shower curtains and it was nasty. People were in and out of the bathroom, it was just very scary. I was the youngest person in there.
 
Right now I'm currently a waiter bartender. One way to deal with being homeless is to work a lot, so you don't have to think about what you are going through. And it's so much harder to be on the streets when you have no money in your pocket.