This is the sixth post in an 8 part series on being homeless, by a guest author who goes by the name Dreamscaper. It’s my honor to share his story with my readers.
By the time I got kicked out by my ex-fiance, I had found a job. She kicked me out and I moved into a hotel. The taxi that took me there wasn’t too happy about me using a taxi to move. What could I do? The $100 tip I gave him afterwards he didn’t complain too much about. That hotel has since been demolished.
I moved in with a wannabe-cop. I can’t tell you exactly what he did, though. After a month he threatened to put me in the hospital and blame it on me. After that I stayed in a hotel closer to work and eventually found a room for rent that was cheap. I stayed in that room for about 4 years while trying to make ends meet.
I still did what I could to survive. I stole less food but more money from work. I took buses everywhere, went back to school and got financial aid, I basically still did what I could just to survive.
Eventually I found a job close to “home”. I moved in with my brother. I got fired from that job 2 years later and he was pretty much taking care of me for 3 years. Even though I was on food stamps for a month before, I didn’t think of reapplying for it. That was ages ago. Also didn’t know the first thing about unemployment benefits. Most of my working life was done under the table. When it got pretty bad and I knew he was struggling, I was thinking of just simply “running away” and becoming homeless again. At this point I was eating condiment packages from fast food restaurants and anything else that was sitting in the cabinets for awhile.
My brother passed away some two years later. He gave me a $15k life insurance, which was used to pay his funeral and the rest for me. The rest I used to become an alcoholic. I actually never drank when homeless or when stealing money from my bosses. But his passing was so hard on me that that’s what I turned to. I eventually drank away the rest of the money and couldn’t afford to pay rent.
I found a job paying pennies online but it was legit. I was hoping to make enough money a month to pay rent but that didn’t happen. So I started to hide from my landlord and go through the eviction process. At that point I had two options:
1. Be homeless again. This time I knew what it would take to survive. I was making some money so I could buy a tent and blanket and survival stuff. I knew about foodstamps and other programs.
2. Ask family for help. Ask my mom who was the one who kicked me out of the house 15 years ago causing me to be homeless. I didn’t speak to her in 15 years, so that was awkard.
I chose number two. We eventually patched things up and I’m able to sleep with a roof over my head and food in my belly. I also patched up a 15 year old relationship that only happened because of my sister and brother passing away.
Next Week – How You Can Help