Can we stop homelessness while having a job?
Homelessness is not just people that you see lying on the streets or begging for food. Someone can be homeless that works at your job that you see every day. Not knowing what people’s situations are; there are so many aspects of homelessness.
People with jobs are becoming those that are becoming more homeless nowadays. Yet, not to the point where you can see them out in the open.
Some people have too much pride for that, I did.
I was homeless several times, with having a full-time job. Homelessness is and was a hard thing to deal with.
However, my first homeless situation being an adult, started my homelessness saga that seemed to show its ugly head several more times after. We will get to that later.
Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball that you least would expect. Some people plan for that, as another lives paycheck to paycheck.
As you read this article, hopefully; I will be preventing someone from making the same mistakes I did. Do not think it cannot happen to you. I thought it wouldn’t happen to me.
Everything in Life is going Well Until…
Afterward, we finished unpacking the last box from the moving truck in our new place. It was so much better from where we were moving from; more house room; the kids would have a room each to themselves, and all the yard space you can ask for.
We loved it. The kids loved the area and the neighbors were so friendly. We never wanted to leave our new home.
During the enjoyment of our new home, we thought the kids would enjoy having a puppy to play in their big backyard. Thus, we felt like the perfect little family, just loving our new home.
As time went on, life was great until the finance company went under new management. We received a letter in the mail who they were and they would be taking over the payments.
We didn’t think anything of it and paid our payment as arranged by the previous owner, which seemed like it did not change.
Actually, nothing was said or changed about anything, therefore; we thought everything was okay.
On Wednesday afternoon, I was in the room playing fetch with the dog down the hall. All at once, a strong knock was at the door. I opened the door it was a police officer with a paper in his hand.
He asked me my name to confirm that it was me. Then he handed me a paper and simply walked away. The stated that we owed $$$$ and by it had to be paid by that coming Monday or we would be evicted.
We did not have that kind of money just lying around. On top of that, we did not understand where the amount comes from.
With confusion, we went to the financing office to try to understand where this came from. Oh yeah, they explained all right.
They informed us when they took over they had to adjust fees that accumulated over time. I wonder how is that fair. There were no letters sent out but you just took my recent payment 5 days ago.
All they could say was that they were sorry and that the payment had to be in full or we would have to leave. We left there devastated, of not knowing where we were going to live.
Tried To Get Help From Family and From Anywhere…
We are trying to figure out anything and everything to get out this situation. Yet, we never thought to get a loan and had good credit back then.
Meanwhile, we still had to go work. With our pride, we never told our jobs what was going on. Still, not knowing what to do; we went through each passing day with the struggle to just come up with something even if it was a box.
By that Monday, I went to work like it was a regular working day. So focused on my job I forgot about the situation that was going on back home. Soon after, I was called to the office phone.
They were starting to evict my stuff as we speak. I left my job immediately to get home to chaos. To watch six men that you don’t know from a can of paint throwing your stuff out. I could not control my emotions of anger.
Immediately, I saw my children faces. I had no other choice, but to be strong for them and my spouse.
Both sides of our family started to come out of nowhere seemingly to give a helping hand.
They helped by storing most of our thing at their houses, therefore; we would not have to spend so much on storage space. I thought that was very thoughtful.
So we made the decision, as we look for another place the kids will stay with our parents as we find somewhere to stay. We didn’t want to become a burden to no one.
Their homes were overfilled with our belongings and our children. We didn’t want to add ourselves to bust the seams.
Finding a place was not as easy as we hoped for. In the process, we tried to stay with other families to lighten the load off our parents. That did not last long. Eventually, our alternative was to sleep in our car.
We got tired of our family members making us feel less than perfect because my family was struggling with homelessness. We couldn’t take the judgment any longer.
Thus, we were living out of our car, with our children living with our parents.
When You Say Enough, is Enough, Believing In Myself to Get Out of Homelessness
Living in a car will make react one of two ways, give up or believe in yourself that you will get out. I felt I was at my lowest. I had no choice but to go up.
You really don’t have time for yourself because you live in your car. So I took the night to write before I closed my eyes. I wrote,
“I had enough of being homeless. I am working yet I live in my car. I can live better than this and believe in myself to get out of this situation.”
I wrote this repeatedly until I didn’t see anything else.
Although, I was still homeless thing started to look up. I got a promotion at my job. I didn’t see my homelessness as a struggle yet as a test of how strong I could be.
Then the worst thing could ever happen, happened. My parents’ house burned down. All the things that I stored there were gone. I almost lost some of my family too.
Furthermore, my parents were homeless at this point. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening to my family within a short time frame.
I knew I had to do something, but what.
My parents had the support of the Red Cross. I was still homeless. I could not take my focus off of what I had to do for my family living in the car.
This made me try harder to get on a path to finding a home for my family.
Where We Live – It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know
As I was moving up in the company I was working for, they never knew I was homeless. I didn’t speak of my struggles to anyone. I felt it was embarrassing to be homeless and have a job.
My boss started to notice my actions around the office. He wondered why I never interact with anyone, although, I was very kind when spoken to me. My boss was very observant. He called me into the office to have a chat.
He wanted to know what was going on with me because I seemed to have the world on my shoulders. As I felt that I did but tried to hide behind my smile.
How many of you hide your struggles behind your smile?
Fighting back the tears, I explained what I was going through in full detail. With a shock, he could not believe what he heard. As the tears started to fall, I began to let out all my stress to him.
My boss was heartbroken to know that one of his employees was dealing with such a struggle but with the power to move forward. We talked for about an hour. My boss felt in his mind that he had to do something.
I went on my day feeling a little better than I talked to someone and they understood but didn’t make me feel helpless.
Within a months time, my boss helped me find a home for my family. He didn’t have to do that. He told me to never to hide my problems. You never know who can help you. I was using the ‘assistance’ that was given to me.
The last thing he told me that I will never forget.
“Chrisie, it’s not what you know is who you know. If the right people know what you are going through, they can help.”
In the end, homelessness is a hard pill to swallow. Yet, some of us are going thru it every day, living on the edge from paycheck to paycheck.
It only takes you a moment to change your life to you becoming homeless. Can we stop homelessness, even while having a full-time job? No, you can not.
Life can hit you with some curve balls that you didn’t expect to happen. So you do have to roll with the punches. Yet, that does not have to stop you from getting back on your feet.
I hope this read can help you in some way. Feel free to leave your comments or questions below. Tell us your story of homelessness that you conquered or maybe still going through. We are here to help.