Richmond woman escapes homelessness, overcomes addiction with help of nonprofit

Melodie Smith was walking down the side of the road in Georgia toward a friend’s house, with no money, and not much to her name besides the clothes on her back and the clear plastic bag with minor possessions slung over her shoulder. She had just gotten out of jail, extradited back to the state where she grew up, where she first became homeless.

Some men attending a funeral saw her and recognized that she had just gotten out of jail. They gave her money for the bus.

“Those little acts of kindness give you hope for humanity,” she said.

Melodie Smith is photographed on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Richmond, Calif. Smith was previously homeless and now volunteers with Saffron Strand.

Today, Smith, 30, has overcome running from the law, drug addiction and being jobless. She’s no longer taking “showers” in public restrooms and stealing food to stay alive. The 30-year-old woman with a big smile is grateful for the support she happened to stumble upon one day, at  Saffron Strand.

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