Queen Jackson has been homeless for about a year. As she recently told her case manager, Debra MacKillop, it all started in 2009, when she was laid off from her job as an administrative assistant.
"I was working for the state of Colorado," says Jackson, 60. "I had all these great ideas of retiring and sitting back and enjoying my life. But, as the budget was becoming very strained, I was one of the first to be laid off."
At the time, Jackson wasn't worried. She had saved some money, and she was sure she'd be able to find another job quickly.
Jim and MaryAnn Fletcher met when they were just children, in the first grade. Later, they became high school sweethearts. But then they split up — until they found each other again, more than 20 years later.
Both Jim and MaryAnn are now 50 years old. And they spoke recently about how they met, and the twists and turns their lives have taken since that day. Jim started by recalling the first time he laid eyes on MaryAnn.
"It was the first day of first grade. And there was this kid who said to me, 'That's MaryAnn Lando. She can read.'"
This Friday is the National Day of Listening – an unofficial holiday – where you are encouraged to set aside time and record the stories of your family and friends. KUNC’s Brian Larson spoke to the Day of Listening founder David Isay about why the act of listening is so important.
When Sarah Littman took her son, Joshua, to college this fall, it was hard.
"I thought I was gonna cry the whole way back from college," she says during a visit to StoryCorps in New York City. "But I managed to make it until I got home. And then I walked upstairs and I saw your door shut and I just lost it."
Betsy Brooks remembers her father, Charles, as a "razor-sharp" former Marine. The two had their share of arguments, she says. But that all changed late in her father's life, as Betsy recently told her boyfriend, John Grecsek.
Charles was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease when he was 78. Betsy tells John about her relationship with her dad before, and after, the diagnosis.
"We butted heads from the moment we could," Betsy says.