Ashton Marra Published

A StoryCorps Lesson on Homelessness: 'You Learn So Much by Not Having So Much'


Nicholas Cochran, 27, and Uneeke Ferguson, 21, are students at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, where they volunteer at a catholic worker home.

They discussed their childhood experiences with homelessness growing up in inner city Baltimore and Marietta, Ohio, and how volunteering has changed their views on the homeless population.

“I feel jealous sometimes,” Uneeke told Nicholas in the conversation about her experience volunteering at the Hagar House.

“You learn so much by not having so much. You know, the basic necessities that people say that we have to have, it’s a luxury. All of that is a luxury.”

This interview was recorded as part of the American Pilgrimage Project, a partnership of the national nonprofit, StoryCorps, and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. This story was recorded in Charleston, West Virginia, and was produced by Dan Collison.

The director of the American Pilgrimage Project is Paul Elie. Adelina Lancianese, Anjuli Munjal, Christina Stanton, Gautam Srikishan, and Maura Johnson also contributed to this story.