PEOPLE WE SEE: Meet Gayle Marie Wallace

Gayle has a list of needs. Here’s her story:

In this feature, the Club introduces you to people you see every day, but you might not know who they are. The Club reminds you that we all have names and stories to tell.


Name: Gayle Marie Wallace
Born: June 6, 1965 (54)
Hometown: Inglewood.
Education: Inglewood High School (dropped out). “I don’t like going to school.”
Family: only child, two sons, never married. “My mom and stepdad died. I don’t know where my dad is.”


What she needs: “Can you come back here on Monday? I need some tennis shoes, sized 11. I need a blanket, a jogging suit or some clothing, something hot to eat and some juice. Maybe some wine. I like wine.”

How long on the street: “My mom was taking care of me. I lived with her. I’ve been out here since she died a long time ago. I’ve been sleeping on this bench, using a sleeping bag as a cushion. They’re hard. It was cold last night. It makes me shake. I don’t know how I survived this long.

“I’m tired of being homeless.”

Favorite candy: “Snickers and Butterfingers.”

A hard life: “People don’t want to help ladies. And a lady ain’t supposed to be homeless, anyway. People don’t want to help black people. Ain’t nobody going to give you no money. They don’t help me out here. They don’t care if you live or die. They don’t care.”

Tell the mayor: “I would tell him to help people out, like me. We need housing. I think it’s crazy for me to be on the street. Something is really wrong. Things are getting worse.”

In five years: “I want to get out. I want to be in an apartment.”

When it rains: “I don’t know where I will go. I’m lucky it ain’t raining.”

Final request: “When are you guys gonna come back down? Will you bring me something to eat?”

The Club came back later and gave Gayle food and other materials. The interview, conducted by John Hawkins, took place June17 near the intersection of Second and Spring Streets downtown.

There’s a lot more to this interview online at: