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  • Click to view Olivia0102's profile
    Posted June 6, 2012 by
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Are you living without health insurance?

    Homeless College Student? I can't get sick.


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Olivia0102, a homeless college student from Raleigh, North Carolina, says the government's method for providing health insurance is unfair. "It is nearly impossible for me to even afford books, and the government tells me I cannot receive insurance because I cannot prove I am independent."
    - stein0726, CNN iReport producer

    At first glance, I am simply a girl who is younger than her classmates. You would see the Editor-In-Chief of my school newspaper. You would never guess I am homeless.


    My name is Olivia, and I am a twenty year old college student. At the age of seventeen, I came to college alone and frightened. After years of horrific abuse at the hands of my mother and various stepfathers, I was finally freed. However, I was in a world that frightened me, a world unknown. It was here that I began my journey.


    In the eyes of the government, I am a homeless college student. Since the age of seventeen, I have not had a permanent address.


    I have slept on floors, outdoors, and at friends' houses. I have been unable to provide for myself on some occasions, and have been unable to receive healthcare. State assisted insurance refuses to cooperate with my lack of address, and I cannot afford regular insurance. Therefore, I go without. I suffer from a thyroid condition, but am forced to allow it to go untreated. Although I am required to apply for health insurance through my school, I am unable to afford even half the co-pays and was forced to work two part-time jobs in order to pay for it, and it expires in July.


    Do I think it is unfair? Yes, I do. I realize there is a reason for every stereotype, but just because there have been others who have taken advantage of 'the system' in the past does not mean the rest of us will. I'm working toward something, not against. Please, stop discriminating against me. I may not have an address, but I do have a body, and it needs to be cared for.


    This is not a 'woe is me' tale. It is a tale of happiness and persistence. I may not have a car, and I may not have other fancy belongings as those in my school. However, I have something much more priceless and fragile. I have a worker's heart and the ability to thrive against all odds.

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