Stephanie Embree: Do I have a right to call myself homeless?

SMU journalism student Stephanie Embree writes about a recent night spent in a local shelter for the homeless.

I look like a cliché. Just another eager journalism student, armed with a story about homelessness, crying out to be seen as a gritty and hard-hitting writer. With my heart’s desire to write the truth and nothing but the truth, in all its tragic and poetic glory. When asked why I wanted to spend a night in a homeless shelter, I gave the clichéd answer: “It’s for a story.”

But that wasn’t completely true.

I don’t have anywhere to call home right now. I don’t have a place to eat dinner with my family or bring my college friends to visit. The keys in my purse no longer unlock the doors they were meant for, and I can’t remember the last time things felt safe or certain. For the last three years my family has been in a constant fight against homelessness....

Stephanie Embree is a junior majoring in journalism at Southern Methodist University. Her email address is