ABOUT

The mission of the UNLOCKED Voices is to elevate the voices of people in our community by creating a platform for them to share their unique stories and underrepresented perspectives.

Through this, we strive to break down the stigma of homelessness, foster deeper empathy and raise community consciousness so that, together, we can act towards change.

"I want to go home too, but I don’t wanna go home with nothing.”

Nashville, TN

"I want to go home too, but I don’t wanna go home with nothing.”

“I haven’t seen them in about two years. I miss them. I could call them. Especially my granddaughter. She be like, ‘Granny, what you doin?’ She’s like eight. And then about two weeks ago, my daughter called, I wanted her to. But she probably do know that I… She said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and I said ‘Nothing’s wrong,’ and she said ‘Mama, I miss you, and I want you to come home.’ I want to go home too, but I don’t wanna go home with nothing.”

“The thing about me and my mama, they don’t know about it. I’d rather not tell her. My mama’s older, and I don't want her to be out here worrying about me. I said, ‘I’ve got somewhere to stay.’ I think she’s kinda wondering. Every time I talk to her says, ‘Tell me. Something’s wrong.’”

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“I’ll eventually tell them. But hopefully I’ll be in a better situation when I do."

Nashville, TN

“I’ll eventually tell them. But hopefully I’ll be in a better situation when I do."

“I call them [foster parents]. They ask me about it all the time. I don’t really tell them because I’m ashamed, you know? I tell them ‘Hey I’m doing this,’ and oh well ‘We taught you better than that’ or whatever and ‘We know we’re not your parents, but we taught you better than that.

Which, I mean, it’s really not by choice, the reason why I’m in this situation. It’s just, you know, we grew apart, me and the mother of my kids, we grew apart. I mean looking back I should have done things better as far as not leave like I did. But I felt like it would be better for the kids because, you know, we didn’t get along. I thought that, maybe if I left, maybe we could get back together eventually. But it didn’t work so. It kind of blew up in my face.”

“I’ll eventually tell them. But hopefully I’ll be in a better situation when I do. I’ll be like ‘Hey I’ve been through this,’ and I look back on it and I’ll just kind of chuckle at it. I want to get to that point.”

Read more →


"And that was the first time he’d told me the truth."

Nashville, TN

"And that was the first time he’d told me the truth."

"People sometimes say ‘why are you homeless?’ And I tell them ‘you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. You ever seen one of those lifetime movies and you’re like ‘that would never really happen’? Well it happens. I sometimes feel like I wouldn’t believe it if it hadn’t been me. 

He said, pardon my French, ‘If you try to leave me I will F*** YOU UP and take everything.' And that was the first time he’d told me the truth. He was conniving."

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"And me personally, I thank God for that blessing."

Nashville, TN

"And me personally, I thank God for that blessing."

“I met my wife. We got married, just recently. We bought a trailer. I don’t know if y’all heard about that big rain storm that came through Arkansas. Actually, we were in Newport at the time, and we got trapped in Newport due to the storm. When we weren’t home. Eight trailers were destroyed. One of those eight trailers was ours. We got home and eight trailers got destroyed. When we went there, we were hoping that one of them wasn’t ours. But it was. That’s when we knew that we had to leave. And we became homeless.

It’s a hard thing, you know. We didn’t know where to go, what to do, how to do it. Our minds were just drained. Neither one of us had been in this situation before. We gathered the little stuff that we had, pictures and stuff like that. It wasn’t that much. We still had to think of where we wanted to come to. We picked Nashville. We wanted another big city other than Memphis. So we came here. When we got here, it took everything that we had from us, our money our food. I mean everything. That’s why we are out here trying to get something to eat.

As soon as we got here, her phone got stolen. At a church service. That isn’t the worst of it. We picked a little spot where we wanted to put our stuff at. We woke up the next morning. It was gone. Everything was gone.

But we believe in God. And me personally, I thank God for that blessing. A lot of people look at me like I’m crazy. Like well what do you mean? Well maybe we were a blessing for them to take it. So I thank God for it.”

Read more →

"I want to go home too, but I don’t wanna go home with nothing.”

Nashville, TN

"I want to go home too, but I don’t wanna go home with nothing.”

“I haven’t seen them in about two years. I miss them. I could call them. Especially my granddaughter. She be like, ‘Granny, what you doin?’ She’s like eight. And then about two weeks ago, my daughter called, I wanted her to. But she probably do know that I… She said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and I said ‘Nothing’s wrong,’ and she said ‘Mama, I miss you, and I want you to come home.’ I want to go home too, but I don’t wanna go home with nothing.”

“The thing about me and my mama, they don’t know about it. I’d rather not tell her. My mama’s older, and I don't want her to be out here worrying about me. I said, ‘I’ve got somewhere to stay.’ I think she’s kinda wondering. Every time I talk to her says, ‘Tell me. Something’s wrong.’”

Read more →


"And that was the first time he’d told me the truth."

Nashville, TN

"And that was the first time he’d told me the truth."

"People sometimes say ‘why are you homeless?’ And I tell them ‘you wouldn’t believe me if I told you. You ever seen one of those lifetime movies and you’re like ‘that would never really happen’? Well it happens. I sometimes feel like I wouldn’t believe it if it hadn’t been me. 

He said, pardon my French, ‘If you try to leave me I will F*** YOU UP and take everything.' And that was the first time he’d told me the truth. He was conniving."

Read more →


“I’ll eventually tell them. But hopefully I’ll be in a better situation when I do."

Nashville, TN

“I’ll eventually tell them. But hopefully I’ll be in a better situation when I do."

“I call them [foster parents]. They ask me about it all the time. I don’t really tell them because I’m ashamed, you know? I tell them ‘Hey I’m doing this,’ and oh well ‘We taught you better than that’ or whatever and ‘We know we’re not your parents, but we taught you better than that.

Which, I mean, it’s really not by choice, the reason why I’m in this situation. It’s just, you know, we grew apart, me and the mother of my kids, we grew apart. I mean looking back I should have done things better as far as not leave like I did. But I felt like it would be better for the kids because, you know, we didn’t get along. I thought that, maybe if I left, maybe we could get back together eventually. But it didn’t work so. It kind of blew up in my face.”

“I’ll eventually tell them. But hopefully I’ll be in a better situation when I do. I’ll be like ‘Hey I’ve been through this,’ and I look back on it and I’ll just kind of chuckle at it. I want to get to that point.”

Read more →


"And me personally, I thank God for that blessing."

Nashville, TN

"And me personally, I thank God for that blessing."

“I met my wife. We got married, just recently. We bought a trailer. I don’t know if y’all heard about that big rain storm that came through Arkansas. Actually, we were in Newport at the time, and we got trapped in Newport due to the storm. When we weren’t home. Eight trailers were destroyed. One of those eight trailers was ours. We got home and eight trailers got destroyed. When we went there, we were hoping that one of them wasn’t ours. But it was. That’s when we knew that we had to leave. And we became homeless.

It’s a hard thing, you know. We didn’t know where to go, what to do, how to do it. Our minds were just drained. Neither one of us had been in this situation before. We gathered the little stuff that we had, pictures and stuff like that. It wasn’t that much. We still had to think of where we wanted to come to. We picked Nashville. We wanted another big city other than Memphis. So we came here. When we got here, it took everything that we had from us, our money our food. I mean everything. That’s why we are out here trying to get something to eat.

As soon as we got here, her phone got stolen. At a church service. That isn’t the worst of it. We picked a little spot where we wanted to put our stuff at. We woke up the next morning. It was gone. Everything was gone.

But we believe in God. And me personally, I thank God for that blessing. A lot of people look at me like I’m crazy. Like well what do you mean? Well maybe we were a blessing for them to take it. So I thank God for it.”

Read more →