Ruby Ann Smith lives under the North Avenue Bridge where it crosses the North Oconee River in Athens, Georgia. She shares the space with other homeless people who have made an outdoor encampment. A prostitute and a drug addict, Ruby Ann has been beaten, shot, and sexually assaulted. “I am so lucky I am still alive”, says Smith, half smiling, half crying. “I should have been dead ten times by now.”

Your Story

Share your story of hope and hard times with us, how you survived, if someone helped you and what the experience has meant to you. We will publish some of our favorites.

Contribute

Resources

"Another family's building burned, but they remained in the fire-damaged structure for several months paying full rent, because they could not afford to move."

- Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work, by Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein

Investigate