(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NOEL KING, HOST:
All right. It is time now for StoryCorps. Jeanne Satterfield and Barbara Parham first met in the 1990s. And as sometimes happens with friends, they fell out of touch. For years, Barbara was caring for her mom, who was sick. And when her mother died, Barbara lost her home. Jeanne was in the same situation after losing her job. That's when the two friends reconnected for the first time in 10 years in a place neither of them ever expected to be - a homeless shelter.
JEANNE SATTERFIELD: When I came through the door, I was scared to death. I didn't know what to do. I had never been homeless before. But I remember seeing your face, and I was shocked. I go, Barbara. And I waved to you. We were really astonished because they said, oh, you two know each other. I said, we go way back (laughter). So...
BARBARA PARHAM: From that day, my whole life just felt easier. It helped me to be able to talk to somebody, believe it or not, who was like me. We were like big sister-little sister, sounding board, coach, therapist for each other the whole time.
SATTERFIELD: I remember when we first started talking about getting an apartment together. We said, hell no.
SATTERFIELD: And then I remember when I said to you, you know, Barbara, we really need to consider this roommate thing.
PARHAM: We're both in the same position. We both need each other.
SATTERFIELD: And I just wanted to feel a part of a home, not feel as though this is my home, this is your home. It's our home. So we were able to get a place together.
PARHAM: What I did learn is you don't have to be alone. And meeting that day in that shelter, honestly, I felt like, for once, divine intervention was in my favor.
SATTERFIELD: I don't know where we'd be if you and I didn't run into each other at the shelter.
PARHAM: Me either. This was a true test of friendship and time, and we've still had each other's back.
SATTERFIELD: We've come a long way. And I can't fathom my life without you.
(SOUNDBITE OF YUSUKE TSUTSUMI'S "UNTITLED #10")
KING: That was Jeanne Satterfield and Barbara Parham for StoryCorps in Boston. They'll go back to the shelter next week to help out for the holidays. Their conversation will be archived at the Library of Congress. And you can hear more from Barbara and Jeanne on the StoryCorps podcast. Get that at npr.org.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.