Oral Histories



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Included in this oral history collection is a written account by Steve, a longtime staff member at St. Kate’s. He indicated interest in taking part in the project in November 2012, shortly after the recruitment posters went up. In an email, he wrote that as a young man during the 1980s, he experienced homelessness for over three years. And although many years had passed in which he had steady work as a custodian at SCU and he had become a home owner, he stated, “It’s a part of my life I will never forget and a part of my life I never ever would want to return to. … I learned a lot from my time living on the street. Getting off the street was one of the hardest things I have ever done.” I wrote back to Steve and sent him the information and consent forms for the oral history project and provided the next steps to arrange an interview. He never wrote back.

In July 2013, I tried anew to connect with Steve and arranged to meet him in person. We spoke about the project and he began to tell me his story, as he wanted it told. I listened closely and let him say his piece. Afterward, I told him that it was fascinating and would be a valuable addition to our project. Over several days we tried to schedule an interview time that worked for him, with no success. Finally he conceded that he did not like the idea of being interviewed and recorded. Instead he preferred to write his narrative and share it in that format. So, although it is not an oral history interview per se, Steve is a member of the SCU community who wanted to contribute his homelessness story as follows.