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The Days and Nights of Jocelyn, Homeless in the East Village

The death of Liz Hooper – the cause of which has still not been determined – rattled the Tompkins Square Park transient community this week. “Things like this scare me,” said Jocelyn, 33, a mother of three who lives on the streets of the East Village. “It makes me really want to change the way I live. It could have been me.”  The Pasadena, Calif. native grew up in New Orleans; like Ms. Hooper, she entered the transient community after she began dabbling in drugs. She now spends most of her days panhandling on Second Avenue, in Tompkins Square Park and around Union Square – at night, she sleeps on East 4th Street and occasionally stays in a squat house in Brooklyn.  Her two daughters (7 and 4) stay with their grandmother in New Orleans while her 4-month-old son is in foster care. “I want to change my life so that I can be with them,” she said. “The fact that I am not with them is so painful.” Last month, The Local asked Jocelyn to tell us about a typical day.