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People living on the streets describe what it's like to have a job and still be homeless


WASHINGTON (Circa) -- Homelessness is a huge issue that is still impacting thousands of people across the United States. According to an estimate done in January 2017, there are at least 533,742 people who experience homelessness every night.

The National Alliance of End Homelessness says the estimation represents a rate of 17 people for every 10,000 people in the general population.

Invisible People, an organization that seeks to change the story of homelessness, spoke with various homeless people from all walks of life about their experiences. The people they spoke with said that despite having a job, they don't make enough to afford housing.

"It's hard to get a job when you got to put your address down on an application, too," Eric told the organization in an interview. "Because they see that, and then they want to know why. And how. And why you're looking for work and why you haven't had work. It's tough."

Eric was in what he refers to as a "violent relationship" which he says caused him to lose his house, his kids and his car. He decided to start all over despite the difficulties he faces. He says that he's even dealt with violence while living out of a shelter.

"I was attacked. And stayed for five days, I had to undergo surgery," Eric said.

Another homeless person who was interviewed named Olga also described trying to stay away from violence.

"I was on the street before because I didn't want to get a tent, but it was dangerous, I walk all night," Olga said.

She says she has even been scammed which helped cause her homelessness in the first place.

"They rented me a place, it was a little house....but they were not the owners, they stayed with my money and my stuff, all my stuff. So I started being homeless," Olga said.

The homeless people who were interviewed said they wanted to be seen as normal people. Charlie said homeless people, "eat, we love, we feel" because "homeless people are just like you and me, except without a home."

"I think that some regular people I guess think that homeless people are weak, that's why they're homeless, they've given up on life. But a lot of homeless people are a lot stronger than one might think because it takes a lot of strength to survive all this," Charlie said.

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