(bright music) - I was living in upstate New York.
My family was the only Latino family where I was, I was already sort of coming to terms with some differences.
I wanted to help him help make people more tolerant and understand each other.
And I decided I was gonna be a psychologist.
I'm a mom of four kids.
And I am also, a clinical psychologist by training.
And the director of behavioral health at The Floating Hospital.
When people think homeless, they're thinking only about folks that are what we would consider street homeless.
You have a whole population of folks who are not even being thought of when that word is used.
We're talking about families.
We're talking about children who are in temporary living facilities.
They're in shelters.
They might be in a temporary shelter.
They may be staying in a motel and they're not seen.
The other major misperception is the idea that if you're homeless, you're somehow dangerous or, you know, not trustworthy or you got there because you deserve it.
Or you did something that you're sort of there because you want to be.
You're in that stage of life where you're encountering those problems because of poor decisions that you've made.
And that's not, that's not entirely accurate.
(bright music) - There is a horrible stigma on being homeless or being without permanent residence.
I had my two boys and I was looked down upon, or at least that's my perception.
But as a mother, we have to make tough choices and going into the shelter system was gonna be the best choice.
That's what I had to do.
- One of the things that I think makes our program successful is really focusing on the person who's in the room with us or the persons.
Because as you said, sometimes the individual who's coming for services is also coming with other family members, whether it be their children, whether it be their spouse or other support.
And oftentimes we have to be flexible.
We have to acknowledge who's in the room and understand what their needs are.
And those needs can be things like, I didn't have anyone to leave my kids with, so I had to bring them in for my session.
How do you adapt to that?
- I hit bottom.
I was not happy.
I realized that if I didn't get help, my sons was gonna find me unresponsive, and I didn't want that.
So I found the Floating.
- We have to be there and acknowledge those experiences, acknowledge those stereotypes that have been applied to those individuals.
Just acknowledging the reality of the things that folks are dealing with.