If you saw a woman touring a homeless tent city wearing a newborn wrapped snuggly to her chest and being followed by her four other children as she jots down notes in a notebook, most people don’t automatically think ‘journalist.’
At least that’s been my experience.
I was interviewing the residents of “Nickelsville” (the name of the tent city that was being evicted by the City of Seattle) and the people I was interviewing were momentarily puzzled when they realized I was not a homeless woman with her children seeking refuge, but writing a column about the all too common problem of homelessness in America.
The homeless folks were perfectly fine either way…my kids weren’t.
“They think WE’RE homeless?” my eldest daughter asked, as if that were the most shocking thing.
“Yes.” I said.
Instead of being miffed that anyone would think I “looked” homeless, it proved a valuable lesson to the kids: homeless people look “normal” and many of them are kids.