ERIE, Pa. -- Damika Roberts said life has been on a downward spiral following a sexual assault in May.
"People should know a rape and what people do to you, it takes a whole bunch out of you."
She said that spiral has included losing her home; and, now, sleeping in or around Perry Square in Downtown Erie.
"I just gave up a little bit, and I went to drinking; but I'm not a bad person."
Roberts is among more than 1,000 people in Erie County who are living without permanent housing, according to some estimates.
"I love to be in this park, but it's getting bad where people are getting robbed. We almost got robbed the other night."
She feels safer with people like Michael around, a friend that she considers family.
He said, "You know there's good people and bad people out here; but the bad people are the ones that drink too much and get stupid."
Roberts said she has reach out to a few shelters, but to little or no avail. She remains outdoors.
"Shoes, feet wet. Get to raining on you. You don't know where you're going to eat. You don't know where your next meal (is) going be," she said.
Although Roberts admitted to being troubled, she said she is not broken.
"I'm very strong. God is going to get me through this, but I've been through a lot."
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