Monday, August 6, 2012

How it Ends

This will be my last post.  I am going to be OK.  I finally have a good job and will be moving back into my apartment in a few months.  I have found a temporary place to stay in the meantime.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to write this, but I have been sleeping a great deal and trying to acclimate back into a normal life.  It would seem that would be easy, but it isn't for some reason.

But anyway.  I have my life back on track and will be getting on with it.

I want to say a very heartfelt thank you to all that have read, and all that have sent me messages, prayed, helped out financially, and all the rest.

This blog really helped me keep my sanity.  The people who responded positively also helped in that regard in ways that I can't possibly express.

To Christopher, Jennifer, Matthew, Susan, I couldn't have gotten through this without your support.  Your emails to me meant so much.

A very special thank you to man named Willy, who watched out for me and always made sure I had food to eat.  Because of you I didn't give up, not only on myself but on humanity.  You kept me sane when it would have been so easy to fall into a darkness that I may not have recovered from.

I will never be the same after this experience, I hope it is for the better.

I will never forgot the people who helped and cared enough to read this.  I hope that I helped people see that homelessness isn't just about the people you see on the side of the road begging for money.  They are just a small fraction, the homeless population goes virtually unnoticed because they have jobs, they have cars, but they have fallen on hard times.

Again, I can't thank you enough for what you have done for me.


Saturday, July 7, 2012


The heat has been unbearable.  It has not helped matters any that much of the area was without electricity for days on end.  Many businesses were out for several days.  I am sure that will be a difficult thing for their bottom lines.

I did find a church that took mercy on me and let me stay there for a few nights when I really had no other place to go.  So that helped.  They didn't keep the air on all night, but it was still better than being without a place to go.

I think everything is back to normal now.  It is hard for me to tell, but where I am, everything is back.  I had read online that some people are still out more than a week later.

All this has really put a dent into my job search, but I found a few good things yesterday to send out to.  I do these work out, because people don't really hire in this area in August, at least historically.

I will try and do better about updating this more often, but with the stolen laptop and the storm that knocked out power for days, it has not been easy.

I hope that is all is well.  Stay cool everyone.  I saw the weather report, we are supposed to get some cooler (only 80) weather early next week.  Only a few more nights of this oppressive heat.  Thank god for that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So sorry that I have been gone so long.  It was not intentional.  Someone decided to steal my laptop.  One of my biggest fears.

Some people from this church that I sometimes go to heard about what happened and someone gave me one.  So that it is why I have been MIA.

It was a very upsetting experience.  It was stolen by someone at the homeless day center.  I don't have much more than any of these other people.  In some cases I have less.

The worst part is that the bag I had the laptop in was found in a room that I never go in.  A room that almost always has someone in it.  Which means that someone knows who did it and said nothing.  This person who is always in there isn't homeless.  She is some sort of religious advisor or something.

Needless to say I have been barely back since that time.  It has really slowed down my job search. I was given a bunch of books by someone to help pass the time, but there really is only so much reading you can do in a day.

But to get back to the day center, I have come to realize that these places hurt more than they help.  My laptop being stolen being a perfect example.  The person who runs the place just kept saying that just give it back, no questions asked.  What do you mean no questions asked?  Why would you not want to press charges or at the very least ban the person for life?  I would like to know how they think they are helping people?

I have needed the services that this place provides.  Some days more than others.  But, I also know that I am better off on my own.  There are people that go that are not even homeless.  They go there and take all the free food that they can get.  They take all the used clothes and shoes that are dropped off that they can get.  There is this one lady that will take every huge amounts of cold cut sandwiches (which are given away rarely) and load them up in her car.  Now, if you are homeless you can't take supplies of perishable foods.  You have no way to keep them cold.  Coolers don't work on a long term basis.  You also will spend a fortune on ice.  As soon as she is done eating she leaves.  I don't know her story, but it seems to me that she is far better off than many and shouldn't be behaving the way she does.

There is one guy who I overhead talking and he was saying that he was found passed out drunk on the side of the road at 7 am.  He woke up in the hospital at 8 pm.  Want to hear his solution to that problem?  Don't drink anything that doesn't have a color to it from that day forward.  How is his life going to get better if they provide the bare necessities to him?  The answer is it won't.  He seems to find places to sleep most nights.  I guess he is couch surfer.  He gets most of his food for free.  He works just enough hours to pay for drink and takes charity for everything else.

He is the part of the problem with people helping.  Why would you want to help someone like that?  I sure wouldn't.

So I have just decided that being on my own is my best option.  As I said I need that place for certain things.  But for the most part I stay away.  I also don't talk to anyone when I am there.  I go in, do what I need to do, and leave.  What really was the most upsetting to me is the fact that I helped people out there.  Two different people needed their cars towed and I took care of that with my AAA membership.  I figured I paid for it, so why not get the use from it.  I never asked for anything in return.  People there knew I did that.

Boy, the heat is on.  It is going to be very hard to sleep starting tomorrow night.  Oh well.  I will do what I can.

Thanks to the people who sent me emails inquiring about me.  I had very limited access to the computer so I used it to do some job hunting.  I hope that I have since answered everyone.  If not, I apologize.

I have several second interviews, so I really do think it is getting closer.  Sooner or later something will come up.  I have no where to go but up.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I have had a busy week.  I have had several job interviews.  Two went well, very well.  I feel that I can be hopeful this time.

I applied for unemployment.  I didn't realize I wouldn't get paid for one week.  Oh well.  There is nothing that I can do.  The last time I was laid off I was given a severance and I found a new job before that ran out.  So I never filed for unemployment.

The process seems very drawn out.  You have to get two different notifications from them.  What a waste of time and resources.  Money for that matter as well.

I several other appointments next week.

Since I am not working I try to stay as busy as I can.  All that time to fill is very hard.  I only sleep about six hours at night.  I just can't seem to get more than that in my car.  I guess I am not that comfortable sleeping all curled up like that.

I have been eating well though.  Well, not healthy really, but enough to be full.  I am not falling asleep hungry most nights.  Sometimes I still do, but not as often.

I do need to be careful with my very limited resources now.  Especially since I won't be getting paid for this week.

Like I have said many times, you become obsessed about how much money you have.  That is one of the first things you think about in the morning and it is usually is the thing you are thinking about when you go to sleep.

See, this is part of what people don't get about homelessness.  Your daily survival becomes your life.  Where will you get food?  Where you will use the ladies room? Is where your sleeping safe?  Do you have money for transportation?  Are the police going to hassle you today?  Will you get thrown out of the library or mall?  Is there a different church you can speak to about getting assistance?

You are so worried about today that looking at tomorrow becomes hard.  Not impossible, but difficult.  You also are fighting the boredom and the lack of stimulation.  That is really one of the hardest things.  You feel so isolated from the rest of the world.

Another thing that I can't stand is always having a bra on.  You have no idea how much I just want to take this thing off and burn it.  I of course can't do that.  But if you need to get out of your car in the middle of the night you can't be running around hanging out all over the place.  So you just leave it on.  At least I do.  I guess I can't speak for other homeless women.  I am not sure what they do and I have never asked any of the other women I know.

My vet friend is doing ok.  Although I am not seeing him as much as I have in the past.  I guess he has found other resources or places to go.  I worry about him.  He will always be homeless.  His mental illness will never allow him to live a normal life.  I guess he has accepted that and does what he does and is ok.  But it still breaks my heart.

I see other homeless that have self imposed problems.  They drink too much or whatever else that they do.  Them I don't feel sorry for, they have done it to themselves.  If being homeless isn't hitting rock bottom then will they ever find it to get sober?  I doubt it.  They also make it very hard for people like me to get help.

Why would you want to give money for someone else to get drunk or high?  I wouldn't want to do that either.  But not all homeless are homeless for that reason.  Some are just down on their luck and want to get back on track.  They just need some help or maybe just some time and they will figure it out for themselves.  They deserve to get some help or have resources available to them.  But you will find many, many doors shut in your face.

I have found a new church to go to.  I think it will be good.  I like my church, but I just feel it is time for a change.  Maybe I just need some spice in my life for a change and this is how I am getting it.

Homelessness is very lonely.  So many people don't want to talk to you if they know you are homeless.

Well somebody gave me coupon for a free smoothie.  Those are things that I can't normally afford so I am going to take advantage of it and savor every drop.  Bing Cherry smoothie, here I come.

Have a good night all.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Well I lost my job, today will be my last day.  I knew it was coming.  But at least I will be able to collect unemployment.  I am not sure how much I will get, but it will be something.  I had several good weeks recently so that may jump up the amount that I get.

In a way it is kind of a blessing.  The job is pretty far from where I sleep so I was spending a great deal of money getting there.  This way I don't have to spend money on gas if I don't need to.

Also I was having a very difficult time finding a part time job or another retail position because of the conflict of interest that retailers seem to have with each other.  So this will release me from that issue.

I am down about it, but there is nothing that I can do and to be quite honest I was making so little money anyway.  The business is just not there.

I do have a second interview with a company not this coming week but the following week.  Maybe this is a sign or something.  I am not sure I believe in signs, but I can hope that this is just a foreshadowing of better things down the road.

I have not slept very well since they told me.  I also do dread having no where to go ever.  The days are long when you are homeless.  There is only so many places that you can go when you don't have much money.  Your options are very limited.

We will see what happens.  I hope all is well with all of you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Not much has been happening so I have not really had much to say.  The job search seems to be moving more smoothly, so that is good news.

I am getting enough to eat, so that is also good news.

I still don't sleep all that well, but that is par for the course.  I have not slept all that well since this started.  I try to make sure at least one day per week I can take a nap during the day.  It is not always possible, but I try.

Work is slow and slower.  It has some good moments, but generally speaking the business is just dying.  The gas prices seem lower.  But I would think that is going to change any day now with summer coming.  We will have to wait and see.

Gas prices are big part of the money people spend on extras.  When the prices rise, the willingness or ability to spend money on things that can wait slows down.  So, I am anxiously waiting to see what is going to happen with this.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Sorry I have been gone so long.  I have had a very productive week.  I have had several job interviews and I met with a social worker that has real experience dealing with the homeless.  This is one of the first people who fully understands what I am going through, but more important she has been able to give me leads on the resources that are available to me.  This is a maze and you keep bumping into walls trying to find your way out.

She did tell me that I have depression.  You know I am thinking that is a positive sign.  Wouldn't it be odd that I did not?  To me I think that would mean that I have accepted being homeless and it would become my life.  I am still fighting being homeless.

I also have a lead on church that will help finish up my car repairs.  I still have several things that need to be taken care of so it is drivable for more than just very short distances.

So as I said, I have had a good week.  One of the best that I have had in long time.  The down side is that it was really bad at work and the next paycheck will be joke.  But I am dealing with that the best that I can.

I am a little behind on some bills, but I am doing the best that I can.

The yeast infection has not cleared up completely.  It is better, I don't have the stinging anymore, but I am still itchy and uncomfortable.  So I was able to get another round of the anti-fungal so I am hoping within the next day or so it will clear itself up.

I am not sleeping all that great, but I have gotten used to that the best that I can.

I heard from someone that is about to become homeless.  Here is best advice I can give you:

Get a can opener.  You will need it.

Have talc/baby powder/cornstarch.  Keeping your feet warm and dry is vital.

I have really fought the shelters.  I don't like them.  But, they are necessary for you.  They will help  you with medical problems among other things.  Make sure that at least one of them knows who you are.  They are also a resource if you need clothes.

You will need bug spray, toothpaste, toothbrush, and get small containers to put your hair washing supplies in.

I have found having a small container of soap for your hands is also a good idea.  Using all different types of soaps on your hands can be rough.  It is better if you try to have your own supply.

If you can possibly afford a storage unit, get one.  The more obviously homeless you are the more difficult your life will be.  They don't want you at malls or restaurants.  The police will hassle you more.  Carry as little as possible with you and stay as clean as possible, and change you clothes as often as you can if you are unable to do it daily.  There is no reason to be dirty.

Most states have a 2-1-1 service.  Use it.  They can get you the info for shelters in your area, the clinics that can meet your medical needs, they can find you a pro bono dentist for minor things.

Try and find the drop in centers in your area.  They can help you with laundry and showers.  Some offer mental health services too.  They will help with specific needs financially, such as adding minutes to a pay as you go phone.  They won't give you money, but they will add minutes if you need them.

If you are picking and choosing which bills to pay, make sure one of them is your phone bill.  You must have a phone.  Even if it is just one that gets you to 9-1-1.  The streets are dangerous.  Some of the homeless are severely mentally ill.  But you will find the biggest hassles comes from the non homeless people.  You will be looked at like human trash by many.  I have met several others who have been beaten up and robbed.  Be aware of your surroundings all the time.  Keep track of the street names so you know where you are if you need to call the police.

Keep yourself as clean as possible.  It is easy enough to do if you put the effort in.

There are plenty of places that will help you with food.  Most are only open several days a week, but once you get it down, you should be able to find a meal most days.  Sunday's are hardest.  You will not be able to find three meals a day, but you should be able to find at least one a day.

Talk to the churches.  Many won't help, but some will.

Avoid using public restrooms at a gas station if at all possible.  They are the least likely to be clean. They are also the most likely to ban you from using them.

Get used to being cold.  You won't be able to shake unless it is very hot out.  Even then you will find the air conditioning will make you cold.

Figure out where the libraries are.  They are a good resource for you.  Internet access, clean restrooms, and most of the time if you fall asleep they won't say much.

Figure out where the grocery stores that have a microwave for you to use are.  You can eat much more cheaply that way.

Always carry with you something to keep you dry in case it rains.  Once your stuff gets wet, it takes days for it to dry.

Always carry with you at least one small bag.  You will find that need them for a variety of things.

Keep your money in the safest possible place.  Inside your sock, the deepest part of your bag.  Don't bring out your cash unless you really need it.

Clean up after yourself always.  People will figure out that you are homeless eventually.  They will be much more tolerant of you if you are clean.

Move around.  Don't sleep in the same place all the time if you are sleeping in your car.  You are far less likely to be hassled.  And the police will hassle you.

Remember, you are poor.  That does not mean that you have given up your constitutional rights.  It is not illegal to sleep in your car.  They have no right to force you to show ID if you are parked on private property.  Unless the owner called them, they can't even ask you to leave.  They can and they will if you are on public property.  Learn the difference.

When you sleep, program your phone to call 9-1-1 with one touch.  It will make you feel safer.

Believe it or not, you really don't need toilet paper, unless you are going to the camping route.  If you go the camping route, you will find other homeless that you can join, you will be safer.  At least in this area there are many of them.  More than anyone wants to admit to.

Your skin will get very dry.  Try to get lotion.

There are lawyers that will help you protect your rights.  They work for free for you.  I am not sure how they make an income or they just do it on the side.  But they won't charge.  Find the phone numbers of at least one and program it into your phone in case of an emergency.

The most important thing I can say is that you still have human dignity.  Don't forget that.  The shame and the guilt is normal.  But even then, don't lose your dignity.  You dont' have to break the law to survive.  You are still a human being, even when others don't treat you all that well.  Tell yourself screw them.  Remember, you are able to survive a difficult time.  That is something to take some pride in.  But learn the difference between pride and dignity.  Dignity will always help you, pride sometimes will get in the way.

Good luck to you.