Formerly homeless vendor June P. has been selling The Contributor on Belmont Blvd. for three years. She’s battled drug and alcohol addiction since she was a teenager, spurred by difficult circumstances in her life. A Belmont student directed her to the paper, and she credits The Contributor with motivating her to stay clean and helping her find temporary housing.
A Nashville native, June grew up with a very close relationship with her family, especially her father. “I worked day-in and day-out on construction with my dad; before school, after school and on every break,” she explained. Later in life, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer and soon after passed away due to the illness. “I just sort of stopped living after my dad died,” she said. Following his death, she turned to drugs and alcohol in order to numb the heartache of her loss.
At one point, June had a family of her own, but due to circumstances, including her addiction, she went through a detrimental divorce and lost both of her kids. After this, she attempted to get her life back in order but ultimately her addiction prevailed.
She eventually landed in a halfway house, then left and decided she needed help for her addiction and got clean.
One day, after being clean for a few years, The Contributor came into her life. “I was hanging out on Belmont Boulevard, where a Belmont student named Sam came up and gave me the information for the paper. It was not soon after that I became a vendor,” she said.
After three years of working for the paper, June has been able to provide herself with temporary housing. She thanks all of her customers for their suppor; she especially thanks people that go the extra mile to do a good deed. “This past week sales were down and my electricity was going to be turned off, and due to the kindness in somebody’s heart, my electricity was paid for,” she said. “I just take it day by day.”
June said The Contributor has helped change her life; it got her back on track and motivates her to live clean. However, she still strives for a stable environment and housing. “Being a woman and being homeless is tough. A lot of people take advantage of you. You don’t sleep and sometimes when you get in a bad situation, there is nothing you can do,” June said. Her goal is to find permanent housing and get off the streets for good, and she’s currently looking for a puppy to keep her company.