In Tucson, the unhoused population continues to affect businesses around areas like Santa Rita Park, South Tucson and the Southside.

Many of the businesses affected give out food, water and other necessities to people who need it most.

Though these businesses are affected, they empathize with those who are experiencing homelessness and their stories. For Michelle Schmidt, she just had another eviction added to her name in December, leaving her unhoused again.

Ive been homeless a total of three times, and it started at the beginning of the pandemic, shared Schmidt.

She describes a series of health issues which lead her to losing the home she once owned in 2020.

In a series of events, it just snowballed because I ended up getting COVID and I got bacterial pneumonia and I had a mild stroke, she opened up about.

After that, she says she went to another state to go take care of her son after he was in a serious accident, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury.

Hes not the same son I gave birth to, she said. Hes now 25 and returned back to Arizona with her, but he has battled addiction since before his accident.

When she returned to Arizona, she was provided with housing through a local nonprofit. After graduating the program, she was expecting to transition into Section 8. From her understanding, the paperwork she signed was for Section 8 after a year in the program-funded apartment she had stayed in.

For whatever reason, that didnt happen; and it caused me to be homeless again, explained Schmidt.

Then, an eviction program stepped in with assistance. She was placed in housing once again, but got an eviction notice and was told funding for the program ran out. Schmidt says she was only in the apartment for 30 days. This was the most recent time she got housing, and says she has become homeless since Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023.

Where does it stop? When does it get better? What is the answer to make it better, she asked.

Now, her son is out on the streets while she says she was fortunate enough to temporarily stay with a friend. With her sons addiction, she says shes constantly looking for him. She goes where she knows hell hang out, such as behind the alley of their old apartments and in the place known as the 100 Acres behind Golf Links Road near Alvernon.

Schmidt says she is applying for disability to help her as she battles PTSD. She picks up cleaning jobs to pay for her storage units which hold the last of her belongings. Schmidt explains she shares her story because she wants people to know about the cycle of homelessness and, in her experiences, the lessons.

I think in order to not be in the situation I am today is, if I was diligent when I got into the programs that I got into. If I stayed on top of what was happening, like transitioning over. Making sure. You know, you take for granted I think that, you have the caseworker and they do all of that for you, but you need to play your part in it as well, added Schmidt.

She hopes to get help for her and her son. Anyone in need of housing resources may visit