I had no jacket, no sleeping bag, nothing—except the clothes on my frail body. Transparent to the naked eye, I moved as a ghost. When I walked, no one noticed me. Maybe because my clothes were dirty. Maybe because my shoes were from a donation box. Or maybe because I embodied poverty. Whatever the reason, it made me invisible to everyone around me, except when my silhouette flickered from panhandling, frightening people.
–My Way Home: Growing Up Homeless in America by Michael Gaulden
From the preface:
This memoir covers the latter part of my homeless journey, ranging from age fourteen to seventeen, predominately my high school years. The horror of my homelessness is what I call it. Allow me to take you down my path and to walk in my footsteps along my own hellacious underground railroad. If you are reading this in the midst of your own overwhelmingly challenging journey, it is you for whom I write….It is you whom I urge not to quit. I know your pain and through my pain, I wish to give you strength. For everyone else reading this, please understand my story is only one of millions of other homeless people.