The Girl's Guide to Homelessness

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brianna Karp tells how she became homeless after she lost her job during the economic collapse. Her memoir, The Girl's Guide to Homelessness, is an account of landing, then losing, her dream job as an executive assistant. When the hundreds of job applications led to no offers, she lost her home and ended up living in an inherited Winnebago in a Walmart parking lot.


Brianna Karp

Comments [13]

Eugenia Renskoff from Brooklyn

Hi, The woman who wrote the book on being homeless is lucky. She got out. She was resourceful. I have been there and I know from experience what a bad experience going on the street from here to there is. Eugenia Renskoff

May. 18 2011 01:18 PM

Robert, thanks for the clarity of writing and the chuckle at the end. :)

May. 17 2011 01:39 PM
Robert from NYC

Brianna claims her mother abused her both physically and emotionally for decades. While we all have different thresholds for tolerance and forgiveness, there are situations that are unlivable. Brianna didn't go into the sordid details on air, so it seems kind of hard to make the judgement that she frivolously rendered herself homeless. And she doesn't seem like someone mired in victimhood. While living in Wal-Mart's parking lot she got temp jobs, started blogging, became active in the homeless community -- work she continues -- and ultimately got a book deal and a full-time job. She sounds brave and resourceful.

Catherine, you meant "between my mother and me," since the pronoun is the object of the preposition. And the double negative in your opening sentence garbles your intended meaning.

The economy, families, grammar -- it's all deteriorating. The center cannot hold.

May. 17 2011 01:30 PM

What about interviewing the people who haven't been so lucky or "resourceful"....what about the person you saw sleeping on the platform bench this morning? Bring him into wync studios....why do we just glorify the sucess stories? I want to hear the homeless guy's story after 15 yrs living it.....

May. 17 2011 01:18 PM
adam bk from brooklyn

this is one of the more pathetic guests who has ever been on this show- did she think of applying for a job at the starbucks she was blogging from?? a truly offensive ignorance of the actual difficulty of poverty. i wonder what all of the undocumented people who come here with nothing and make a life for themselves would feel about her so called homelessness.

May. 17 2011 01:03 PM

Catherine is not from Brooklyn....I bet Nebraska...

May. 17 2011 12:59 PM

@Catherine from Brooklyn

Hmmm sounds like you have never experienced a very crazy parent. Good for you. But if you had, you would probably be singing a different tune.

To the guest: Bravo! Clearly you have your wits about you and you are resourceful and that must have really helped your situation. Many people don't want to face how close they are to homelessness. If you're living paycheck to paycheck homelessness is not to far off.

May. 17 2011 12:59 PM

I was homeless for a short time during college, but thankfully I had some good friends who let me crash on their floor for a while.

It was difficult, though, having to try to schedule almost everything I did around whether or not my friends would be awake and home to let me in or lock their door behind me.

I can't imaging having to live that way for any appreciable amount of time.

May. 17 2011 12:57 PM

Catherine, were you listening? Did you get raped by your father? Keep your ignorant comments to yourself until you know what you're talking about.

May. 17 2011 12:52 PM

Wow, more power to Brianna! I am in awe.
I think it's so important to bring attention to all this.

May. 17 2011 12:52 PM
Stuart from nyc

if you have no job, how do you pay for a gym membership? maybe she should have sold her computer for cash and used a computer in the public library...

May. 17 2011 12:51 PM
Catherine from Brooklyn

Not all of us who are unemployed have endured the kinds of things Brianna has - but that doesn't mean we aren't less worthy of work. I've been in NYC for a month but I've been blitzing it on resume-sending and networking for about 6 months. Thank goodness I sorted out the bad blood that had existed between my mother and I for decades; she's become a huge source of support and encouragement. I feel like, listening to this feature, Brianna's own stubbornness led her down a path she absolutely didn't have to be on. Sorry, I know that sounds cold... but either you choose to be comfortable as a victim or you don't. And that starts by forgiving your parents.

May. 17 2011 12:49 PM

Is the family scene in America disintegrating badly?

May. 17 2011 12:46 PM

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