MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Tonight, we are hearing a perspective we don't often get to hear: hearing from a couple who is experiencing homelessness.
The couple, who prefer not to use their names, spend their nights at a south Minneapolis bus station and spends their days holding signs, asking for money.
"We are just the same as the rest of the community, we are just struggling right now," the female partner told WCCO.
This Cass Lake couple lost their daughter at 1 month old and then they lost their way, turning to heroin. They are in Minneapolis now in methadone therapy.
"We don't know anybody down here and we just, ugh, don't have a place," she said.
They've been sleeping in a bus station in south Minneapolis. And they've made some new lifelong friends, Jen and Joe Funk who live in south Minneapolis.
"With them it was different, they actually would come close and talk to us, when they came out they brought their kid. They wanted to get to know us,"
"They are my friends, they are not people who are homeless that we see, they are truly are friends," Jen Funk said.
Joe and Jen Funk of south Minneapolis started Everybody Love Everybody. They grow relationships by gifting clothes, shoes and food, providing people without homes with a shopping experience with choice and dignity.
"A lot of times they come in, they're down. They leave, heads are held high, they are joking with friends," Joe Funk said.
The weekly pop-up shops are where the couple two got their new shirts. The female partner tells WCCO,
"It's different than anyone who comes out and hands us donations," the female partner said. "They actually care. They want us to succeed, they want to help us succeed."
"I think our hope would be that people view the homeless community differently, that they view it as everybody else who has homes," Jen Funk said.
The couple hopes to get off the streets and home to their three boys, and the new clothes give them new confidence.
"It actually gives you the purpose to do something with what you got," the male partner said.
They need donations of gently used clothes, back packs and duffel bags -- and funds to keep things going strong. Click here for their Venmo page.
Jen and Joe Funk say the biggest thing they've learned from people experiencing homelessness is even if you don't give someone money on the street, give them a smile or a wave -- that is what matters most.
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