Whether it's living on the streets, scrounging for every penny, nickel, dime and quarter she could to keep her three children alive, altering the views of those who view the homeless as nothing but drunken failures, reshaping the lives of those once like her, or even converting to Mormonism, the 54-year-old McPherson tries to do it all.
And that's why she started walking 1,863 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Tijuana, Mexico, on April 20 with only $600 in her pocket, the shoes on her feet, and a traveling companion in a van to keep her safe.
"Every face has a story," McPherson said. "Some of them are heart-wrenching, and some of them you want to question. But it doesn't matter if you've been in the streets a week, a month or 20 years — there's always a story behind it."
Finding her way back home
McPherson's story begins in Stamford, Conn., in February 1979. Fed up with multiple broken bones, missing teeth and attempts on her life, she chose to take her children out of the situation and into one just as foreboding: a life on the streets, living in a 1966 Vega with her children, and even having to give birth to her youngest son in that car.