My First Homeless Experience

After I graduating from God. I didn’t ask God for direction. I was a lot like Lot when he left Abram. Lot did not consult God before he headed off in his direction. He later found his self in a horrible place and was blessed to be able to escape. He was not able to take much with him. As a result of not seeking first the kingdom of God, I have found myself in some horrible places. I was blessed to be able to escape from harm’s way.

When I got back to St. Louis Moses had gone Missing in Action. I found out through child support enforcement that Moses was living at archway a local treatment center. I would drive around the treatment center hoping to see him. They also told me he was working at Aaron. I went to Aaron enter pretending go be interested in furniture or getting a job.

I stayed with my mother and stepfather. I got a temporary job at Contico working in their warehouse. That was hard work. I was looking for something full time and permanent in communications. In December, my uncle went out of town my grandmother lived with him and she was going to need to stay with my mother for an extended visit. La Freda and I went to stay with my Dad and stepmom.

My dad and stepmom were really into a church they had joined Trinity Mt Carmel. I started attending church, again because I was feeling a spiritual void. I started attending new members classes and I got saved. I realized the AA meetings that encouraged my spirituality were no longer enough. I needed to understand God more.I was attending my home group that met at the hospital I went through treatment at. I had become group service representative and chairperson. God, as I understood him, was not working for me.

My relationship with my stepmother continued to be difficult. I would try and stay gone all day and come in late at night to avoid being around her. I was so stressed out in the mornings, I struggled to get out of bed my body was locked up with tension. I had several car accidents because I would just drive around. all day.Since she wanted me to leave, I kept trying to get her to take the keys since she wanted me out so badly.

When she would not accept my keys, I threw them at her. She threw the keys back at me. I hit her. My Dad broke us up. I continue to try and fight her. La Freda ran over trying to help me. I was surprised. I thought she had not bonded with me. I left that night, with out La Freda my Dad would not let me take La Freda. I went over my boyfriend’s house.

I went to a shelter downtown in St. Louis at the suggestion of my god sister. Also, I thought I could jump ahead of people on the section 8 List. I thought being around these people would make me have more of the real black experience. I had never really hung out in the hood. I had more education than most of the residents and some of the staff. I went on Friday, I felt uncomfortable. It was like in movie “sleeper’s” the children would cry their mothers would physically abuse them.

The bathroom there was horrible. There were used sanitary napkins not wrapped up. It smelled like urine. I got assigned the chore of cleaning it. The shelter staff gave me some cleaning supplies, but I did not feel it was enough to do a good job. I went to the store and bought more cleaning supplies. Even though I cleaned, it I still did not feel comfortable using the bathroom. The women used the comet; I bought to clean the bathroom to wash their clothes. I felt sorry for them and bought some laundry detergent for the dormitory. I told them anybody that needed some could use it. It was gone in a day. I rarely eat at the shelter.

I left early every morning and went to my grandma Rosie house to eat and bath. That would become my routine. I brought my alarm clock, but a woman, Ms. Ann who had mental illness took it. She put it with her things while I was at work. The other residents took me she had it.When I explained to her I needed it back so I could get up to get ready for work. She told me I did not work that I had been on the corner.

There was another woman who was a “little touched” Ms. Mary she would quote scripture. She seems to quote what I needed to hear at the time. She was from Louisiana. I would usually eat dinner at my mom’s she lived in North county were I was working another temp job.

After I was there a couple of days a pregnant girl came in with her son, she looked a lot like me on her first night uncomfortable her name was Hope we became friends. Hope’s family lived on the same street as my new boyfriend.

Hope asked me what I would do to get out of her situation. I told her I would go to school. I told her about how I struggled to finish college as a single parent. After we left the shelter, I helped Hope enroll on St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. I took her to get her high school transcript. We went to some agency that assisted her with filling out her financial aid forms. I told her to apply for work-study. I advised her against loans.

Ophelia’s (Snookie’s wife) niece that had five kids was there too. For Resurrection Sunday, a predominately-white church came and served breakfast they gave the children stuff animal bunnies.

One day La Frieda and I went to apple bees I thought I just wanted to feel normal again. I had a car, which made things easer it served as transportation and storage space. I was amazed that the young women there would fix their selves up. I thought if I saw them on the streets, I would not think they were homeless. While I was there, I heard this woman say this was her second time. I thought this is my first and last to myself. I thought how they could allow themselves to become homeless again.

One night this young girl with two kids got into with another girl there. One of the girls pulled a knife on the other girl during the fight. They got into a fight over a shirt. The police were called and the girls were put out that night with their children.

After I started to settle in a single mom with two teenage sons came, we slept in a dormitory. They were sleeping at the foot of my bed. A couple of days later I moved to the next level. The rooms did not have any doors so there was still no privacy. I got a room by the stairs. The room had more privacy because it was away from the main hall. It was next to a homeless single dad. All the women would sneak around the corner trying to talk with him. I thought my goodness this man does have any thing and they still want him.

For my birthday, I decided to leave early and go watch the sunrise at Washington University. I had always wanted to do it since I heard Julie talking about how beautiful it was. I thought I had to have a man with me to enjoy it. I went there and I prayed. I enjoyed myself despite the fact I was homeless and that I was not dressed nicely. I spent the day driving around and finally went over my boyfriends house.

I left the shelter because my chore they assigned me required I come back at dinnertime which was hours before curfew. Plus they moved me into a hallway with all the other women. There was less privacy. I did not want to socialize with those women. After my temporary day job ended, I found a part-time job at the university of Missouri at St. Louis.

`I moved in with my boyfriend even though I already paid the security deposit for transitional housing. I did not move into because of some confusion and stayed with my boyfriend for a few months. I got sick of him. I went to the transitional housing office and said look you got my security deposit, I need some keys. I found a full-time job at a local hotel and conference center doing audiovisual. I started working full time but, I continued to stay with my boyfriend and pay rent at my own apartment. I was not paying the utility bills. I always had the intention to but I was constantly overspending. I also thought I would go beg different agency to cover the bills, But then I did not want to be bothered. My first year in shelter care plus I received shut off notices in every color from Ameren UE.

One day my shelter care plus caseworker came. I told her I was stressed out trying to pay my daughter’s daycare fees. She reduced my rent. When it was time for my next home visit my caseworker got a promotion and the program assigned me a new caseworker told me I did not deserve any apartment because it was so messy. Things were good at work my boss becomes my friend. She signed me up for supervisor training. I was invited to one of employee relations committee meetings after the meeting someone congratulated me on being voted in as a new member. I did not even ask to join.

My car broke down after a few months. My dad cosigned for a car and I realized I could not afford it unless I got another job. My insurance rates were way too high because of all the accidents I had in the past. I took off one morning and went to apply for a multimedia technician posting at a Historical black college. When I turned the application in, I told the human resource assistant, “I ‘ll see you next time when I come for the interview.” I could not believe I was being so bold. The interview was a panel interview it went great. I was surprised because usually I am so anxious at interviews. I was laughing and smiling.

So I went to work for a historically black college. I thought this should be the answer, but I still was not making enough money to live how I wanted. After the first month, I threaten to quit. My boss refused to accept my resignation letter. I enjoyed working with the students, but I was not getting along with my co-worker. I did not feel he was doing his fair share of the workload. After a year I resigned, I had attempted to quit about three times during the year.


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