Maria Fabian is a former homeless youth from Tampa, Florida. She was homeless during her senior year of high school. Through hard work and assistance, she was able to graduate from high school and move into her own apartment. She is currently stable and holding down a steady job. Maria’s focus is to be an advocate for other homeless youth.
In addition to being a youth advocate, Maria Fabian has also released a booth entitled, Invisible Innocence, which is her story told by her. Check out our interview with her below.
You mentioned in your video that ‘they’ would just leave you. So were you abandoned in the apartment? How did you end up becoming homeless?
Yes, I was abandoned in the apartment. I became homeless because my aunt thought I was having a sexual relationship with her husband (my uncle).
During that time did you go to any shelters?
Yes, I stayed in an all female homeless shelter (Gates Programs) for a year.
How did being a homeless youth shape your life?
Being a homeless youth made me stronger. It made me never want to give up on myself. It gave me the ability to put myself in other people shoes. It humbled me and taught me to never take things for granted. Being homeless made me speak my mind more comfortably.
Maria isn’t afraid to get passionate or emotional when speaking about her past.
How did being homeless make you stronger and better?
Being homeless made me stronger because it taught me not to give up and to keep pushing for positive results. It made me street smart and taught me to not let little things destroy me. It made me stay focus so that I could get out of that homeless situation.
You became a writer since; thereafter, sharing your struggle. What inspired that?
I became a writer because I wanted people to know that it is possible to come back from being homeless. I want teens and young adults to know that there is life after being homeless; that there is hope and a way out. I want teens and young adults to know that my book will show that yes it was very hard being homeless, but also that it is possible to overcome it. I wrote a book about my life as a homeless teen so that my story could be heard.
What do you want people to learn from the book?
I want people to recognize the signs of a homeless youth whether it be a teacher, friend, family member or classmate.
How did you cope during the time you were homeless? You mentioned in school not saying anything to anyone. So how were you able to hide the fact that you were homeless from your peers? What would go through your head during that time?
I pretended that everything was fine until the hunger took over. I went to school everyday and maintained my grades and tried to hide being homeless the best I could. I wore a jacket everyday so people wouldn’t notice I was wearing the same shirt and I would just change my pants. I would ask my teacher to buy me lunch. I was always thinking that as long as I kept people laughing that no one would notice I was weak, poor and homeless.
How did you get into becoming a speaker?
I was part of a documentary for homeless youth in Tampa and I also was apart of a fundraiser event that helped raise money for a homeless shelter and from there I just started speaking about my story and life as a homeless youth.
What are you doing as a career now?
I work as a customer service agent for veterans. Now that I am stable in my job I can now refocus my attention to the homeless youth and give back to my community.
What new projects can we expect from you in the future?
I am continuing my work as a homeless youth advocate and I want to move forward with my dream career as a comedian so that I can continue to give back and share my story.
How can people purchase you book?
Any words of wisdom can you offer the youth and this generation of millennials?
I would say to never to give up and to know that there is help. I would tell them to not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help or to receive help. Life is what you make it and to always remain positive even through the hard times.
How can people follow you and keep in touch with you?
I have Facebook (Maria Fabian) and instagram (@ithinkimfunny813) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.