Over half a million people are homeless in the United States, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In a country of 313 million people, this statistic could be considered relatively low, but in a country that prides itself on being one of the richest in the world, the numbers are shocking.

And yet, to many of us, the numbers are just that—numbers on a page. We might pass a homeless person on a busy city street every once in a while, but for the most part, few of us know someone who’s that poverty-stricken, let alone what it’s like to live in such a state.

Nik Shier’s nonfiction piece “Home” brings to light the stark reality of homelessness and poverty in the United States as she reflects on her upbringing. However, what makes her piece interesting is not because it highlights an important issue in today’s world, but because she offers little details unique to her experience. In doing so, she connects with the reader on a deeper level and prevents her piece from becoming just another social commentary.

Read Shier's work, or check it out along with the rest of the prose pieces.