"The poverty of being unwanted, unloved
and uncared for is the greatest poverty."
- Mother Teresa
My name is Karen. My homelessness was a result of my drug use, and my drug use was a result of me trying to cope, cover up, or not think about the military sexual trauma I endured while I was stationed in Panama. I was passed around like you pass communion at church. We were out in the jungle of rio hata and the men just used me any way they could. One of them even told me, “well what did you expect when you joined? What did you think would happen?” And during the time I was in the military they had no sexual harassment policies in place. That’s what caused me to use drugs for 20+ years. Crack cocaine because I couldn’t face the guilt and the shame that was associated with that military sexual trauma