Ma’am and three daughters’s Story
Location: Gateway Center
Female, Age 30
“Bould advincherist, loven,
Lil bit of a perfectonest,
Take a balenced aproch with what I do,
Purson who conseder full purspective”
Daniel Enger (Interviewer) Good morning today is November 10, 2021, and we’re here at the Gateway Center here in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. My name is Daniel Enger, and I have the pleasure of being here today with you Ma’am and your three young daughters. Thank you very much for taking time to talk, I’m looking forward to hearing your story and to learning from you. Ma’am, my first question for you is a really big one namely, could you please tell the story of your life from the time you were a little girl up to the present day.
Ma’am: Good morning. Well, as a little girl I was very adventurous I was always running around trying to see what I could get into. Whether it was like going and exploring in the woods, broken down houses some stuff that most kids typically didn’t do but it made my childhood fun. It made people think of doing different things as well as just opposed to the normal games, we did those too. (laughter) So, I have two parents my mother and my father they were divorced when I was younger but my father, he still kept close contact with his children. (Speaking to kids “don’t touch that please, thank you”) My mother she was very hands on I wouldn’t say she was a workaholic but she just went out of her way to make sure she did whatever it was we needed to keep family the clothed, and to help other people she was big on that too tryna help people in the neighborhood as well. So, she started volunteering in the rec centers and stuff like that etiquette for young women. Now as I get older, I’ve kind of changed, change it hasn’t always been planned change because as growing up as a kid I thought I had a specific view for my life but sometimes I learned you’ve gotta roll with the punches.
Daniel: Ma’am, of all of the things that you’ve accomplished and overcome in your life so far what are you most proud of?
Ma’am: what am I most proud of so far? (chuckle) I guess the thought would be to say Oh my kids (Speaking to kids: I am very proud of you so don’t take offense there’s a reason I say this) I strive to continue to grasp more out of life.
Daniel: Ma’am, you’ve gained a lot of hard-fought wisdom in your life so far, if you were invited to share your wisdom with school kids in your community to give them guidance to live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives what would you tell kids in school in this area?
Ma’am: Kids … I could tell you what I tell one of mine; what I’ve told my children before, math and your reading has to be up to par especially with the youth they like (I can’t say all of them) some of them like to be flashy, so they like the cars, and the jewelry, and I said well you know you do all this work to accomplish what you need. You want your purses and your nice house, or whatever and your business now but if you can’t read, can’t do your math then anybody could get in and mis-calculate some stuff for you (hard laughter) and mess you up and you don’t want that. So, you make sure you stick to your studies, those are the two most important, I think.
Daniel: Ma’am, in what ways would you say your life is going well these days? Please talk a little bit about how life is good for you at the present time.
Ma’am: How life is good for me. My faith, my faith is always it’s something that always follows me, because no matter what I’m going through God always seems to give me a sign that I’m going in the right direction. Even though sometimes the journey is hard we still have to go through whatever path life sends you in. Again, it’s a learning experience your supposed to pick up things along the way not just from what you go through but what you see other people go through as well.
Daniel: Ma’am, what led to those things going well for you? How did that happen or who or what has contributed most to your doing well these days?
Ma’am: Well, it goes back to my faith again. People always ask me do you just stop and get irritated, or just focus on the negative? I DON’T, my mother she’s big on being in the Bible she used to sit I remember in a huddle and read to us. And then my father he actually is the son of a pastor Christian religion, but he ends up coming a Bahai. So, I grew up with both religions but just being around that atmosphere of people seeing them do so much more I said the thing about the distance but it’s so close at the same time it keeps me in the mindset of to strive
Daniel: Ma’am, looking ahead, looking to the future when it comes to living a healthy, safe, stable, and happy life what are your hopes and dreams looking ahead?
Ma’am: ooooo, ooooo They are (excuse me I get paused at times) there are a multitude of dreams and goals that I have. Let me see, here’s one that is related, I want a foundation of my own for kids who’ve been mistreated or are homeless, because that’s one thing with being in this situation that I’ve come to realize there’s more resources for men than there are for women or just children. And like the structure of it all, I have my own critiques here and there (chuckles) where I think it could be better. That’s all really, so, it would be like somewhere they could come you know, sleep of course, have something to eat, but I also want them to be able to learn work etiquette, how to manage a budget, savings, and also to push more people to go to college or at least technical college. Help them decide what’s the best career path whether it’s going into the Military, or you know whatever. I always want them to feel like they can come back you know, and feel at home even though it was a place where you just I don’t know like the first step to havin like a nurturing situation out of a bad situation.
Daniel: Ma’am, as you pursue those hopes and dreams what are some of your personal strengths that you draw on?
Ma’am: My personal strengths. (Pause, big sigh, chuckle, that’s funny) can I call on my children as personal strengths (laughter, no that’s a joke) actually, it is one of em cause I’m very family oriented, now I am the youngest out of all my brothers and sisters and I have like 9 brothers and sisters. So just being in one of those households where it’s a big family and everybody’s around laughing, playing, cousins (correcting kids: aaaaa aaaa thank you, sit on your seat please ma’am, your fidgeting so much, chuckles) the need to be a better mother, not to say I’m not a bad mom but (excuse me, laughing I’m getting very distracted, Oh Lord, Jesus)
Daniel: Ma’am, what are some of the challenges and obstacles that you see standing between you and the realization of your hopes and dreams, what holds you back?
Ma’am: (heavy laughter) Now that goes into what I was stating before my situation is very different than some people that I’ve encountered I haven’t heard anybody talk about my type of situation, or maybe they’re just too scared to talk about it. I don’t know, cause I’ve had some people come up to me and say things over the years, but I think it might be a little bit more common than people realize if they just feel comfortable enough to open up and talk about it. Now are you familiar with psychics? (Daniel: I am) (Ma’am: do you believe in them?) (Daniel: I believe I have a lot to learn about everything) Ma’am: Okay, so sometimes, well let’s go back, my pastor was a psychic and she’s a sweet lady and she gives her all to everybody in the community. (Correcting the kids: stop it please) Whether it’s feeding people, whether it’s helping people in prisons, she’s the sweetest lady ever, you know. But I remember she used to sit and look at me and give me like little notes in my head, or she said she didn’t do that (now I gotta pause on that) now that’s the problem, it’s been other psychics contacting me I’ve been being shielded for a long time. Back when I was a child, I used to have very strong psyche now she probably said this to me, now this part I do remember, she told me that it was just . . . she didn’t see anything. So, there was a block put up there, but I remember the exact day, Imma pass by that. This psychic connection and people being able to come in and improperly utilize your energy or what’s going on with you and the atmosphere around you it can be very it can affect you whether it be your finances, or your career if it’s utilized in the wrong way. That’s why I try and stay as a peaceful natured person kind a not get too mixed up in the wrong situation if that makes sense. So, that’s what kind a put me in this situation it’s gotten stronger now than it has ever before, but this is somethin that has been plagued for a long time. I’m just trying to find ways to deal with it and hope to continue to move on and parent and keep my children together, plus dealing with the homeless situation it’s been hard at times I try to (pause) I just try, that’s really all you can do.
Daniel: Ma’am, you’ve just spoken about some challenges and obstacles how can they be overcome so that you can realize your hopes and dreams?
Ma’am: Good energy, good people, sometimes when the door gets jammed you kind a need somebody to pull from the other side (laughter) I don’t see nothin wrong with that is it? Jesus had disciples. (laughter) so (Speaking to kids: what’s going on with you? Now two of his questions would you like to answer? okay do you want to ask them or no?)
Daniel: We just took a short break and during that break I understand that Ma’am two of your daughters, two of the three that are here, are keen to share their thoughts on their hopes and dreams for the future. Ladies the floor is yours.
Ma’am’s daughter: So, do you want to go first? No, you could. So, since I was little, I always wanted to do a lot of things like dancing, singing, modelling, and acting, but like some of those things I don’t want to do anymore. And like when I was in Atlanta before we even had this situation, I saw a lot of people who needed help, a lot of people who deserved help, I saw people who were hurt, people who aren’t recognized by others, people who are abused and since then I wanted to help. At first, I was like other people of which I regret, and I in the future I want to help other people. As I get older, I hope to adopt some children and invest in like orphanages and other places like this I hope to make more places for people, I hope to fill the earth back with its greenery cause it’s so much toxic stuff in this world now. And I hope that everyone in the future can like be happy, and like what I hope for will come true cause you don’t actually know what it’s like until you’ve been through it. It cold, it’s dark, sometimes you don’t even know where to go your lost and you always feel like someone is following you or watching you. It’s kind of it’s scary, it’s hurts, a lot of things hurt, a lot of things you can’t afford it’s hard to find food and a lot of people these days need good jobs that pay a lot. So, I hope in the future I could not only help people but help this earth as well.
Daniel: You’re a wonderful girl, you’re a wonderful girl, thank you very much for sharing those ideas. We just took another break I know that another one of your daughters Ma’am is keen to share her thoughts on her hopes and dreams. Tell me please about your hopes and dreams.
Ma’am’s daughter: My hopes and dreams I wanted to um help homeless people cause I saw so many that was struggling, and I saw it was hard for them I wanted to help them a lot because that’s the kind thing to do, and I’m kind. Ma’am: She wanted to do this as her birthday present actually. Daughter: I want to help them cause I don’t want anyone to be struggling I saw it was very hard and as I grew up, I thought to make things that are very useful and somethings that are playful.
Daniel: What kind of things were you thinking about that could be useful and playful?
Ma’am: What are some things that the homeless people need that you see?
Daughter: Houses, cars, I could make soap slime it’s basically slime, and it very playful and useful, and it won’t get too wet or anything and it won’t dry out just harden a little bit when you put it in water, and it can fit in anything, and it’s very stretchy. And I can make fox slime, it smells like foxes and some people want to smell the smell of foxes on slime and it would basically, be edible and clear. I could make cereal slime you could eat it; I want to make edible slime for people who can’t drink milk and stuff cause their allergic. I could make slime pancakes and whatever you could think of you could form it out of the slime and take a bite out of it.
Daniel: Ma’am, I enjoyed learning from your daughters just now. I have some more questions for you now this time to learn about your perspectives please on the homeless community in Atlanta. First of all, how would you describe the homeless community in Atlanta, who are the people who make up the homeless community in Atlanta?
Ma’am: You can’t just put people all in one huddle in one collective group because it’s different people from all different types of walks of life. The typical that people think of when they first see people that are homeless are people who are on drugs or just tryna live off the system, and that is not the case. I have seen some people from very wealthy families, I’ve seen some old school artists, singers come through the shelter, wives of artist who are in abusive situations who are just trying to escape what they’re in. Let me see who else have I seen, people coming in from other places getting stuck (laughter) I’ve seen military wives, it’s all type of people all types.
Daniel: When it comes to living a healthy, safe, stable, and happy life how would you describe the hopes and dreams of people in the homeless community?
Ma’am: Living a healthy life, well first to be healthy in a homeless situation (chuckle, it’s that key word home) you need a safe place where you can go and lay your head at night and don’t have to worry about somebody leering over you. I’ve heard several incidents over the time period from different people, yeah, yeah that’s where it starts. Having food, clothes on your back that don’t have holes in em stuff like that.
Daniel: Ma’am, in the homeless community in Atlanta what are some of the strengths that people draw on as they strive to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives?
Ma’am: I think that is up to each individual actually everybody goin say it’s different some people can have a natural sense to strive and have that tunnel vision to get out of the situation they’re in, but some of them are going through a depression situation, medical situations, and I’m saying if they don’t really receive the help that they really need; just the kind tone from the right person at that time it can be very discouraging, it can be very discouraging.
Daniel: Ma’am, what are some of the challenges and obstacles that make it harder for people in the homeless community to realize their hopes and dreams, what holds people in the homeless community in Atlanta back?
Ma’am: Well maybe two or three things that I see so far. I know it’s hard on the people who work the system, therapy sessions might be good for them personally (chuckles) also for the people who are going through it because they tend to clash. You always having people come in your face and yellin and screaming and then they start retaliating back but not being in understanding of you deal with this at work yes, we understand that you have to be stern with certain people because certain people are rough and they just come in for what they want, and what they want is what they want. But you also have to be considerate of those that they’re just really having a hard time, especially if they have gone through so many different processes of trying to get something accomplished and they keep getting met with the same backlash, it’s hard. And so that’s one, excuse me I’m kind a getting pause here. Another one is I’m sorry could you repeat the question my mind is kind a getting throwed off.
Daniel: Yes Ma’am, what are the challenges and obstacles that make it harder for the people in the homeless community in Atlanta to realize their hopes and dreams? What holds people back? You said you were thinking of two or three different things.
Ma’am: Also, too, better daycare for people who have children or work programs yeah that, some of the programs do set up goal plans but the things needed to get over certain obstacles and hurdles for those goal plans needs to be implemented as well.
Daniel: Ma’am, what needs to be done so that the challenges and obstacles you just talked about can be overcome, and people in the homeless community can realize their hopes and dreams. You talked about the clash between two different groups, you talked about a need for daycare for example.
Ma’am: Like I was saying the therapy not just for the people who go through the system but the people who work the system as well. (pause, speaking to kids: you can actually sit right there for a second, is she coming in, is she in the door, make sure she comes in the door, you can’t leave her out there, okay just stay right there for a second) Therapy for both parties because okay you have police officers or doctors who train to do what they do but I mean the same thing applies to people who do this job as far as caring for homeless people because again you get people from all different types and walks of life. I’ve seen a lady who came to me one time and she had really bad seizures she was a fair skinned woman so her seizures used to get so bad where she would just pass out on the floor, but it was to the point where rings around her eyes were charcoal black it was really bad and they would just keep bringing her back here, bringing her back here instead of those immediate situations where those people should be bumped to top priority list. People with mental illnesses (speaking to kids: aaaaaaa give it to me, now go and sit down) people with mental disabilities maybe having a program where they have doctors to sign off on or get a record of diagnosis. Like for instance schizophrenic and your talking to your 12 different people you don’t know who you are, let alone where you are from day to day. And then again, for the working mothers not just daycare for the little kids but the older kids as well need something because how is the parent expected to work if they have nowhere to put their kids, unless kids go to work with the parents (hard laughter) and there’s labor laws against that you know. It kind a puts you in this tough position unless they have some type of programming set up for you.
Daniel: Ma’am, imagine for a moment you are a powerful leader a decision maker who could really make things happen, as a powerful leader how would you change the system to help people in the homeless community in Atlanta to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives? You’re a powerful leader how would you change the system?
Ma’am: Change the system for homeless people to realize . . . okay (speaking to children: can you stop please, please can you stop and sit on the floor? Behave and try to be as quiet as possible, you can sit on the floor Indian style like you do at the gym) I’m sorry. Now I understand the funneling of money is a big concern where is the money coming from? Is it tax payors, is it non-profit organizations and how they work? If you do have people here working then I could understand some of the money getting funneled it would have to be an agreement with the person who is in this situation, but also too it has to be at some point enough where they can make money to get out of the system, and maybe even if its’s good enough for people you have those people who are willing to come back and donate or it can be a contract agreement that you come back and donate a certain percentage. To get it to where you’re working hard of course you can’t work hard if your feet is hurting, if your back is out you know, and a good place to sleep of course, nutritional values. I don’t know, some of these places around Atlanta I know they have vacant buildings, I was just walking with my daughters over near Morris Brown and a couple of other colleges off of MLK it’s a building over there that has been vacant for years and it look like it might have been an apartment maybe old office buildings. This guy was telling me earlier this week they have it where he’s irritated because they’re cutting down so many forest and it’s detrimental to our environment that we keep those green lands that way we can still breathe good air you know. How about taking some of that and giving it back to the community, that gives jobs for people who are homeless and people who aren’t homeless you know. I think that would be a good place to start.
Daniel: Ma’am, I understand we’re in for a real treat right now because you and all three of your young daughters have an answer to the following question namely. Imagine you had a million dollars, and you could spend it to help the homeless community to realize their hopes and dreams to help the homeless community in Atlanta how exactly would you spend a million dollars?
Ma’am’s daughter: Well, I would give them houses, cars, and some of the money, and I would give them stuff that is very useful, (Daniel: what kind of useful things would you give the homeless?) like soap, tissue, houses, cars, food, money, bank accounts, and food stamps and more.
Ma’am’s daughter: What I would do with a million dollars, well I explained a little bit of that in the last video but mostly I agree with my sister’s decision, but I also agree that it, like it shouldn’t be used on just like on the homeless like because I think cause Atlanta these days and in the past has been really dirty and I think I’d spend my million dollars not just to help the people but to clean Atlanta, make it like a better place for people to live, make it easier. I think what I most likely want to spend my million dollars on is the family I’ll have in the future.
Ma’am: (chuckle) I guess just, I really don’t know right now (laughter) I think it’s something that needs to be thought out over time with good planning, cause there’s so many different people that need so many different things so I would have to think about it for a minute. I don’t know I’d like to kind a get a list together and plan it out, like I said before I’m a little bit of a perfectionist and it has to be set up just right (laughter)
Ma’am’s daughter: I would buy the homeless their own houses, and I would give them money every day for them to go shopping for food and clothes, and each house there would be a school in each house, and there would be a poster board that I could put up job applications every day. And I would buy them their own houses and when their ready they could move out.
Daniel: Well, you guys I thank you very much and it’s been a great pleasure to spend time with you, it’s been a great pleasure to learn from you guys, I really appreciate you and I hope that you understand that what you just did is going to help a lot of people. Thank you all very much.
Ma’am: What do you all say? Children: Thank you, thank you.