Fabiana Silva called the streets of São Paulo home for 16 years as one of hundreds of people trapped in cracolândia, the open-air drug markets in South America's biggest city.
Now the street has become a livelihood for Silva, who has kicked an addiction to crack cocaine and moved into an informal two-story dwelling in a nearby slum.
Silva, 38, pulls her bright purple cart by hand through São Paulo, piling it high with more than 400 kg (800 lbs) of recyclables picked from refuse to earn roughly 100 reais ($32) per day - the only money she earns to support three children.
"It took so much strength for me to leave that life," she said. "But along came my kids, and I just had to get out."
Eventually she found work as an assistant social worker tending to addicts, a job now requiring a high school diploma, before she turned to recycling for a living.
Having overcome her own addiction, Silva's aspirations do not end on the street. She recently graduated from middle school and will start high school this month. She plans to go to university and become a veterinarian.
"I was a street girl," she said, standing outside her humble new home while on a break from recycling runs. "I left school in 3rd grade. Now, after becoming an adult, I went back to school to graduate.
"It's a great achievement for me. It means so much."