WUFT News

A homeless woman’s hope for a better future

By on February 8th, 2013

Morgan Falcon / WUFT

Donations left for the homeless at Bo Diddley Community Plaza.

Jennifer Watson was kicked in the back while she was asleep in Bo Diddley Community Plaza.

The 45-year-old forgave the drunk man.

“I am going to let the Lord deal with him,” she told a woman who was with the man. “Even though I went through that pain, I still forgave him.”

Jennifer Watson is a person with little material belongings but still manages to smile and laugh when thinking about all of the good deeds people have done for the homeless.

People come directly to Bo Diddley Community Plaza to give donations to Jennifer.

City officials said clothing and other donations that do not get used by the homeless get strewn about the plaza and end up in the trash.

They are trying to reroute donations to local shelters, such as the St. Francis House, to combat this problem.

Watson said she would rather people come directly to the plaza so all of her friends can get something.

“When they donate to places like St. Francis, a lot of people don’t get to see what’s been donated for them,” she said.

Occupy Gainesville and similar groups have been fighting the city to allow donations to come directly to the plaza, Watson said.

She said a lot of people don’t agree with it, but her faith in the group leads her to believe that they are doing the right thing.

“These are a group of people who have been out here and understand,” she said. “They’re trying to help the homeless as best as they can to have them where they can sleep anywhere instead of everywhere you go, you are woken up by the police saying ‘you can’t lay here, you can’t lay there.’ Where are we supposed to go?”

She said the lack of understanding from people hurts her the most.

She applied for jobs, but employers refuse to hire her because she has nowhere to bathe, clean her clothes and has no roof over her head.

“Mainly we are looking for employment and shelter,” she said. “Those are the two main things I believe would help us out. If they have those two things then maybe they could have a little more encouragement to try and get off the streets.”

Chris Kirschner wrote this story for online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Luke Watkins, the 28-year-old partner of Black Hog Farms, is working toward creating a weekly farmers market along the St. Johns River in Palatka. The Saturday market will feature local farmers, musicians, artists and food trucks.

Local Businessperson Plans Farmers Market For Palatka

While Palatka’s government hopes to attract visitors to their area with the riverfront development project, a local business owner has his own idea for bringing in more people.
Luke Watkins, whose family operates Black Hog Farm, envisions a weekly farmers market that goes beyond fresh produce. Watkins said he hopes to create a smaller version of Jacksonville’s Riverside Arts Market by including local artists, musicians and food trucks in his market.


Robert Yard performs a song for a toddler using a Lakota love flute at the Cedar Key Fine Arts Festival in Cedar Key, Florida. Yard held impromptu music lessons throughout the day for patrons that were curious about playing an instrument. (Photo by Sydnei Cartwright)

Patrons and Artists Pack Cedar Key for 51st Annual Fine Arts Festival

Cedar Key held its 51st annual Cedar Key Fine Arts Festival this past Saturday and Sunday, and experienced a large turnout from supporting counties and out-of-state visitors. The Festival showcased a number of different arts including jewelry, photography, wood making, and mixed media.


A group of 'dirty kids' fly a sign on the corner of SE 1st St and SE 2nd Pl while one patches up a jacket and another plays guitar on Jan. 23, 2015 in Gainesville​. Photo by Andrea Sarcos/WUFT News

‘Home-Free’ Squatters Find Community In Gainesville

An abandoned house in Gainesville became a home for a group of individuals that call themselves “dirty kids.” The dirty kids feel that they are different from homeless people.


IMG_8377

Chicken House Fire Kills 24,000 Chicks

Chickens die in a chicken house fire at Saavedra Farms on Wednesday night.


featured

Gainesville Family First To Win The Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship

The Garrity family is the first family to receive the Michelle Park Family Recreation Scholarship from the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The scholarship is valued at $1,500 and was created for families to engage in recreational and cultural activities for free.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments