Prized possession : Backpack
New Yorker Nicole is a smiling face on Denver’s 16th Street Mall. Injecting every topic with optimism, she recounts a tale from the previous day. Sitting with a friend, they found themselves in a peculiar scenario. “There is this nice Mexican man who gives me a few bucks every week,” she begins, “and the other day he gave me quite a few pesos. Only problem is, we’re in the US and we can’t use pesos!” she laughs. “The bank was supposed to have the money in my account today, but its just been a bit of back and forth. Now it should be sorted in the next half an hour,” she continues in her thick New York accent. “It’s not too much. It’ll be about $120. I’m going to go out to dinner at a restaurant and maybe spend the night in a hotel.” Nicole moved to Colorado seven years ago for a job when homelessness was not even remotely on her mind. “It all sort of happened in a year. It can really happen to anyone. I’m optimistic though. I’ll get myself out of this situation soon. You have to stay positive,” she advises. “I haven’t lost that, and I’ve met a lot of good people out here. You learn a lot.” Her sharp intelligence is apparent.
Most Prized Possession: Her backpack. “My whole life is in this green army bag. It’s funny, a lot of times people see my walking down the street and have no idea I’m homeless until I turn and they see my walking with this giant bag,” she exclaims, hoisting the bag onto her shoulder. “The thing is almost as big as I am!” Her gleaming face becomes stern when posing for the photographs.