Invisible Child

This long-form feature and photo essay on Dasani, a homeless girl in New York City, is a phenomenal piece of journalism. And it sheds important light on the many dysfunctions of this grossly economically unjust city.

Author: has written 5280 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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25 Responses

  1. Asia
    Asia December 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

    I’m horrified that placing 9 people in one room was ever a option for the city.

  2. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated December 19, 2013 at 9:14 am |

    Addiction takes a terrible toll on children. I’ve seen as many as five children shoehorned into a motel room while their parents shoot up in locked bathrooms or stand on toilets to smoke crystal meth out windows. Children roam begging for food while mama is out turning a trick to make her next 8-ball. They are sweet and heartbreaking little disasters in the making. The GOP’s neo-eugenicists see them as “useless eaters” who should expire from starvation or uninsured and untreated illness.

    1. Little Raven
      Little Raven December 20, 2013 at 11:17 am |

      Yeah, the saddest part (for me) about this whole article is how incapable her parents are of doing much for her…I’ll be optimistic and assume their hearts are in the right places, but they’re barely able to cope with their own lives, much less the lives of 8 children.

      Tragic.

  3. Miranda
    Miranda December 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

    I’m glad this was written.

  4. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie December 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

    We could make the kids clean the schools, right? Then they wouldn’t be useless.

  5. Tony
    Tony December 20, 2013 at 12:15 am |

    Yeah, there are some homeless people near where I work. I see their sleeping bags laid out on the sidewalk. They always are begging. I always am refusing. I walk past them every day to a job I don’t intend on ever quitting.

    1. Angel H.
      Angel H. December 20, 2013 at 9:30 am |

      Having a job doesn’t make you immune to homelessness.

      Sincerely,
      A Homeless Woman Who’s Been @ the Same Job for the Past 6 Years

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 20, 2013 at 9:52 am |

        Also, NOT having a job doesn’t mean you’ll become homeless. (See: Ann Romney, Kim Kardashian.)

        1. Angel H.
          Angel H. December 20, 2013 at 9:59 am |

          HA! :-D

    2. ldouglas
      ldouglas December 20, 2013 at 9:38 am |

      Yeah, there are some homeless people near where I work. I see their sleeping bags laid out on the sidewalk. They always are begging. I always am refusing. I walk past them every day to a job I don’t intend on ever quitting.

      What the fuck is this supposed to mean?

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 20, 2013 at 9:47 am |

      Yes, well, you’d better not quit. How else could you feed the high horse that is your exclusive mode of transport?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 20, 2013 at 9:53 am |

        *other not exclusive.

    4. EG
      EG December 20, 2013 at 12:54 pm |

      Are you under the impression that people who are homeless planned it that way?

    5. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles December 20, 2013 at 12:56 pm |

      You’re all heart Tony, I was so moved by your compassion towards your fellow man I almost teared up.

    6. Tony
      Tony December 20, 2013 at 1:32 pm |

      People are reading a lot of things into my post that were not intended. The fact that I (or anyone) have a job does not make me any better or worse than a homeless person. It is merely a reflection of the circumstances and structural forces that have acted on my life. I mentioned it because… well that is when I come close to interacting with homeless people on a daily basis. The fact that I don’t intend on quitting just means that I’ll continue to walk by them indefinitely. (Even if I did quit I wouldn’t be homeless; that’s one of the privileges people of a certain background have) I’m not alone in this right? If you live in an urban area I’m sure there’s a high chance you know some homeless people, by sight if not by name. We’re close… Physically close. And free. Yet also so far and in a way unable to change each other’s circumstances.

      1. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles December 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm |

        Yeah man, I guess i vaguely see the point you’re trying to make, but you need to look up the term “working poor”.

      2. Angel H.
        Angel H. December 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm |

        In other words, you wanted to show everyone how deeeeeep and introspective you are cuz even tho ur life is kinda awsum and theirs kinda sux we all live under the sun and life is like whoa…

        Sit dafuq down.

        1. Tony
          Tony December 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

          Yeah, I try to reflect on things that get posted here and relate them to my life. I dont care if you don’t think it’s deep. I don’t understand how a simple comment is so offensive. What are we supposed to take from this story- only “this is tragic and the GOP sucks”? My city has been a one party Democratic town for decades and this entire problem of gentrification (same as NYC, except no shelter guarantee) has arisen completely under the current regime.

        2. Angel H.
          Angel H. December 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm |

          But you can’t relate them to your life. That’s the fucking problem!

          You don’t know what it’s like to be homeless and by your own admission, you never will. Trying to make some “rainbow connection” with a group of people you’ve never even acknowledged the existence of until now is shallow and ridiculous.

        3. Tony
          Tony December 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm |

          Touché

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

        My God, it’s like Tony Stark’s pre-Iron-Man id spewed all over this page. Tony, is it you?

      4. Donna L
        Donna L December 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm |

        that’s one of the privileges people of a certain background have

        I’m sure I come from as much of a “certain background” as you do — middle class upbringing in Manhattan and all that — but I never, ever assume that it’s impossible for me to be homeless. In fact, if I ever lose my job, I don’t see any possible way that I could still afford to pay rent, at least not for long.

    7. Miranda
      Miranda December 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

      Did you even read the article? Because the article discusses the high numbers of people with steady jobs, still in shelters because of dipshit elites favoring policies that jack up rent prices to exorbitant levels.

      Do not even get me started about rent in NYC, it is appalling.

  6. Dominique
    Dominique December 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

    I’ve only ever been to NYC once in my life, in the late 80s. It was a disturbing experience for me, even if I was only in Manhattan. The beggars appeared to be locked in permanent cringes. I know we have beggars in Canada but this was different. Even the ones in Guatemala seemed to have more of a belief in their right to live. Many were unbelievably filthy and looked like they should be in hospital. One man was in a wheelchair, obviously severely disabled, covered in very dirty bandages, with pus oozing out of one eye. He sold pencils for 25 cents a piece out of a tin cup. The other disturbing aspect of this was that the majority appeared to be dark-skinned. Even people who were not homeless and begging, but were performing what we might term menial labour, such as shoe shining, appeared excessively deferential. I remember seeing one expensively-dressed man swoop up to a shoe-shine man, sit in the chair, spread his newspaper right in the man’s face as his shoes were shined, never saying a word, not even thank you after paying. These are the tableaux I remember of the city, more than the museums, art galleries and shops. I don’t know how much things have changed but I had a tough time believing this was one of the richest and most developed countries in the world, with a bill of human rights.

    1. debbie
      debbie December 22, 2013 at 12:59 am |

      Where in Canada do you live? Because homelessness and poverty in Toronto are not so different from NYC.

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