Lori Yearwood

Lori Yearwood specializes in the topics of collapse and recovery. She was a features reporter for The Miami Herald. Her work has since been published in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Oprah's O Magazine, and other publications.

Recent Articles

Taken for a Ride: How Ambulance Debt Afflicts the Extreme Poor

How medical-provider gouging burdens the homeless with debt and frustrates recovery.

I was in total shock, strapped to a gurney in the back of an ambulance. I had been repeatedly abducted, beaten, and sexually assaulted by a transient man over a period of a year. Completely defenseless and traumatized, I was later groped by a series of predatory homeless men. Defeated, my extreme circumstances elicited an extreme response: I began lying naked on a patch of grass near a busy street in Salt Lake City. Bystanders called 911. Police and ambulances arrived, and before they touched me the paramedics politely asked me if they could take my vital signs. However, no one ever warned me about the financial duress that I would face when I emerged from my nervous breakdown on the streets. That burden translated into nearly $4,000 for three ambulance rides between April 2016 and March 2017. These debts wrought havoc on my credit and hampered my recovery from homelessness. The interest on my uncollected debts damaged my credit score. As a result, stores like Best Buy rejected my...