construct | Homeless in the Berkshires: A personal story
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Berkshire Edge

Itinerant artist envisions an Earth saved by children

Thursday, Nov 30 | By Hannah Van Sickle

Great Barrington — Dorrie — she prefers to use only her first name — has lived on the road her whole life. She credits her Bronx upbringing with teaching her to be a “tough girl,” which, she admits, “really did me good to survive.” The graduate of NYU — who majored in English — is a self-described artist/anthropologist who stumbled upon some particularly hard times in July following the death of a close friend with whom she was living and for whom she was caring. Within a matter of weeks, she was homeless. But Dorrie did not lose hope. “I have survived by hiding — in the woods and on the street,” she explains. And now she is tired. As luck would have it, She found her way to Construct a few weeks ago — as the days grew shorter and the nights colder — where she and her cat, Noche, were welcomed and provided with transitional housing. Her 1992 Ford conversion van is parked out front, affectionately named after Wilson the volleyball — the sole companion of Tom Hanks’ Chuck Noland in the 2000 film Cast Away — simultaneously serving as both comfort and a reminder of her transient existence for the past four months.