“When people from my work want to hangout with me and ask if they can come to my house, I tell them I live in a motel and immediately they assume that there’s something wrong with me.
The reality is this is just the hand I’ve been dealt and I am doing the best I can with what I have. It’s frustrating when people pass you by and give you looks like they’re better than you when they have no idea your situation. I came here with my family, and we didn’t have anywhere to stay so we moved into a motel. Last year I worked 4 jobs to support my whole family: my mom, my younger brother and my 26 year old brother.. And last year my younger brother went missing. I don’t know where he is, I don’t know if he’s eaten, child services have only called me once, and my only goal is to find him.
Branson does a good job hiding the homelessness because it markets itself as a big Christian community that supports all things wholesome, but if they were to take a step back and open their eyes to how things really are they would see the truth. The people running this town seems to only focus on money & maintaining a ‘good image’, and I kind of get that, but I believe that people have the power to create a good image by actually doing good things for the community they say they care about.
My mom took out a loan using my credit card when I was 14 and screwed up my credit for life. There’s barely any programs here for young people to go to to learn about how to better themselves. The motto where I work is “Dream Big. Do good.” Without people to help you, you can try as hard as you want, you can push and you can save money and you can scrape by, but when you find yourself in a position like mine, when your credit has been ruined, -you can’t get an apartment, you can’t get a house, you can’t get a car, you can’t do anything. And without existing programs that will teach you how to build your credit, or how to budget, how can you “dream big”? There’s no help here for these kinds of issues, because all we have is tourist attractions, shops, rollercoasters, nothing for the working locals, -just the tourists.”