Scripts: Homelessness & Drug Addiction



        “3 HOTS AND A COT”

feet + hands of homeless man picking up coins. has no voice

These scripts are true stories, in dramatic reading format, about homelessness, drug addiction, AIDS and how “normal, everyday people” find themselves in a shelter for the destitute.  

The monologues have proven to be very valuable when used in fund or consciousness raising events in a variety of venues.  They can be used singly or as a collection.

 Here is a picture of some of the group. (I’m the one with “the legs” – a volunteer at the shelter. The blond seated on the floor is the late Suzy Goldman, who first conned me into becoming a Producer and Director.)

Nancy Wyatt with homeless people rehearsing for performance

Photo by: Rick Reinhard ( in Washington, D.C.

Where Did We Perform the Scripts?

The originals are the true stories of homeless people in Washington, D.C.  The homeless people and I performed them, as members of a non-profit, “Variety Pack,” for a multitude of educational, religious, civic, and governmental organizations, including members of Congress and a Governor’s Conference on Housing and Homelessness.    Our performance also was recorded by the National Archives; one script was entered into the Congressional Record, and several were part of a cable television show. A number of unsolicited awards were bestowed on me for this work.  See more details about usage and pricing following the script summaries.

3 Hots And A Cot”

…is an expression which homeless people may use to refer to their (often unmet) goal of each day. They spend endless hours trying to find three hot meals and a cot on which to sleep. This playbook contains a series of dramatic readings about people who have experienced homelessness, drug addiction, and/or AIDS.  All material is authhomeless man with cup for changeentic and is based on actual people’s real experiences. I scripted, produced and directed the presentations for our performances, which were designed to teach people about these situations, and which showed the beauty and strength of the storytellers.  The homeless “actors” were sharing about their own lives, except in one case in which we told the story of one of the children whose whole family became homeless.

How Long Does It Take To Tell These Stories About Homelessness, Addiction, and AIDS?

During a full-length show (1 – 1 1/12 hours), a Narrator introduces each account.  But, the monologues may be performed singly, or in small groups when 10 – 20 minutes is the time limit.  The cast sometimes contained singers and musicians, so music often was added, based upon availability of talent.  And, the troupe conducted a Question and Answer session after the performances.  We still miss those whose lives already have ended.  Happily, most of the performers who survived ultimately found new jobs and homes, or they were reunited with their families and children; some went back to school, and most have their addictions under control.

Script Summaries: Homelessness, Drug and Alcohol Addiction, AIDS

by gay folks, straight folks, men, women, children, shelter operators, and a volunteer

picture of 8 homeless "actors" telling their stories

Photo by: Rick Reinhard ( in Washington, D.C.

Below is a summary of the individual scripts.

These writings may be purchased and/or, I can be booked to write new stories after interviewing folks in special circumstances, like veterans, people who have lost their homes, people who are struggling with illness, or people facing other challenges of life, like Alzheimer’s disease or domestic violence.  Please contact me for details.  The contact information is available at the end of this page.

3 Hots and a Cot – Description of Individual Monologues

1.  QUICKSAND.  A young man is laid off from his ‘good government job.’  His wife takes their baby and goes to live with her mother, and the landlord evicts him. Brokenhearted, he describes living in starvation on the streets, while still trying to find employment.  The two focuses are a)  how a typical, working American citizen can become homeless, and b)  homeless people are hungry people.  It describes what the typical emotional and physical symptoms are like.  Script:  6 – 9 minutes

2.  THE VIEW FROM HERE.  A young woman’s husband leaves her with their four children.  This script follows her as she gets a minimum wage job; moves in with grandma; gets fired and arrested for shoplifting (she didn’t make enough money for rent AND food), and tracks her into the alleyways where she becomes a prostitute to make food money.  Eventually, she becomes a drug addict, who winds up in jail.  Later, she comes to the shelter for help.  But, there is no room at the inn.  The story is told from the point of view of the shelter operator who has to turn her (and hundreds of others) away.  Script:  7 – 9 minutes.

3homeless girl eating banana -pouting but no voice.  PLEASE, GOD.  This story presents a newly homeless child’s viewpoint on homelessness.   She describes the shelter, the soup lines, the fear, and seeing ‘all these homeless people who look just like the ones she saw on t.v.!’  Unwittingly, she is being seduced by a drug pusher, even as she watches her own family life disintegrate, making her more vulnerable.  Script:  5 minutes.

4.  Nancy kissing her favorite panhandler "Old Conti"YOU WOULD CALL HIM ‘DERELICT;’ I CALL HIM “DARLING.”  This is a loving portrait of an old alcoholic panhandler, as he is viewed by a volunteer at the shelter. It is an attempt to humanize and give dimension to a homeless person who DOES fit the stereotype.  Script:  11 minutes  (performed by Nancy Wyatt)

5.  SON OF HARLEM.  This is the story of a young man from a Muslim Household.  He proceeds from the streets of Harlem to the military, to college, to a job as a police officer, and then to the shelter as he becomes lost in drug addiction.  While homeless, he acquired his Master’s Degree (Howard University) and became employed as a drug counselor.  He now has multiple advanced degrees, and he uses his strict upbringing, education, and experience as an addict to live his life constructively and to help others learn the same.  Script:  9 minutes

6.  WAR.  This script is the story of a young, upper-middle-class man who became homeless and, consequently, became sympathetic to the panhandler and the old woman pushing a grocery cart containing all her earthly possessions.  It is a call to action in the war on homelessness.  Script:  2 minutes

7.  RINDGO.  This is a revealing portrait of the many contradictory facets of a Black ex-convict, who was married to a minister and has great faith in God.  This person is a diabetic amputee and a drug addict.  The story addresses the issue of whether homeless people are lazy and unwilling to work.  And, it ends on a heartwarming note when he speaks of his volunteer work with homeless children.  Script:  8 – 10 minutes.homeless person with shop cart

8.  READER’S DIGEST.  This is a fairly light-hearted script which talks about the speaker’s ‘Most Unforgettable Characters’ at the shelter.  It describes a clown, an undercover agent, and some other colorful folks, ending with memories of Mitch Snyder.  Script:  6 minutes.

9.   MARTIN’S SONG.  This story traces the history of a former cast member from his life as a child prodigy “from the projects,” who sang with the National Children’s Choir for a Pope and two American Presidents, to his present state as a recovering drug addict with AIDS.  Script:  3 minutes.

10. STATISTICS.  This monologue makes the point that homeless people are not just statistics.  It homeless man receiving food and watertells the story of an 80-year old man who walked from New York City to Washington, D.C., during the Housing Now March on Washington, even though he has brain damage and often cannot walk 2 blocks; the story of a doctor who masquerades as a bag lady and was refused admittance to a conference on “health care for the homeless” at which she was the keynote speaker, etc.  Displays humor and describes how homeless people help homeless people.  Script:  4 minutes.

11.  B.J.’S NIGHT VISIONS.  This story begins with an attempted suicide and traces the life circumstances which led up to that point, including the speaker’s suffering from sexual abuse as a child, through a drug overdose by his spouse in adulthood.   This story is very harsh, but is beautifully executed by the actor/singer.  It is not for the weak-hearted.  Its importance lies in the fact that these things are happening to thousands of people all over the United States every day of our lives.  It also ends on a positive note.  Script:  6 minutes.

12.   FAMILY SHELTER.  This is a short, but hard-hitting script, describing conditions in a typical family shelter and then asking what kind of adults these children will become.  How can they support our tax base, if they grow up semiliterate or illiterate, succumb to the drug pushers, etc.?  The script may be used as an introduction to PLEASE, GOD; it may be used as a stand-alone monologue; or, it may be part of the Narration.  Script:  2 minutes.       

These scripts are copyrighted by the author,  Nancy Wyatt,  with all rights reserved.  They may not be copied, distributed, or performed without the written permission of Nancy Wyatt.  When you purchase them, My Persuasive Presentations, LLC will be notified by email that payment has been received.  However, you will need to email, to tell us which scripts you chose.  (We offer the flexibility of choice, if you purchase scripts individually, so they may best suit your needs.) 


You may purchase the whole Playbook.  It contains 13 monologues plus the narrator’s portion, which introduces each script and ties the stories together.  If you are a non-profit and submit proof with a copy of your non-profit ID number, the cost of the Playbook is reduced.  Alternatively, anyone may purchase up to three scripts or up to six scripts of your choice.  See Pay Pal options below.  The PayPal options assume that you will receive your material via the Internet, which is how we save you money.    If you choose to receive a hard copy in a binder, there will be additional costs for printing, packaging, and shipping.

Please note:  if you choose the PayPal option “Bill Me Later,” your payment to me will be delayed, as PayPal first must do a credit check on you and then connect to whatever account you link to it to make the payment ultimately. Until PayPal has finished that process, it will not pay me.   The scripts or playbook will not be sent to you until My Persuasive Presentations has received payment.

It is good to let us know the purpose for which you intend to use the scripts, as there is a potential for loosening the copyright restrictions.  A copy of the copyright and usage requirements will be included in the material sent to you.  A lot of hard work and expense was involved in creating these stories; so please abide by good ethics, as well as the law, and do not distribute, post, or otherwise share the scripts without permission and payment.  Thank you, and I hope you find them illuminating and enjoyable!  They are offered in LOVE on behalf of the brave men and women who have experienced homelessness.

Contact me now for more information, to purchase scripts, or to have me create original scripts for you!

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