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September 24, 2014

Sad but True Personal Story

I apologize for such the big time gap. It's been that way for a while now, I know. I've had a lot of horrible things going on in my life and actually, my life itself took a bad turn. I never really wanted to post about because it's not something I liked people to know. Plus, it was hard enough to be able to get online. I was so depressed that I wouldn't have been able to find enough energy to write out a post like this.

The Truth

From October 2013 until just a few weeks ago, my fiancee and I have been homeless. The first couple months we were staying with my Aunt and then in Jan. we were on our own, on the streets and out in the cold. We went through hell. This is the first time in both of our lives that we have been homeless. I can't even explain the feeling I had when we didn't know where to go. We sat on the bench at Shari's Diner for hours in the freezing cold and snow thinking of what to do or where to go.

We managed to survive through the winter - this involved us staying up all night at Shari's Diner because we had no where else to go, walking the streets, stayed in a shed without blankets, sleeping in parks,etc. We started getting money and were able to stay in motels. Each time we got a room, the plan was to work hard and get enough money to be able to move into an apartment. We actually did get enough, the only problem was, it was being spent on keeping us in a motel. The motel was costing us over $300 a week. Eventually our luck ran out and we were on the street again. We started sleeping in a park by a library.. you know, I have to say that it was actually pretty nice to be able to lay down and actually go to sleep at this park instead of wondering where we're going to go and feeling extremely tired.

Some how we made it to a place we called "The Ponds". We got some sleeping bags from my fiancee's son and used them to lay on and cover up with at our new spot. At night we would stare at the sky and watch for satellites. It's pretty fun.  All was good until it started pouring. Everything was soaked; both sleeping bags, my boots, and me. By this time, my good friend Bob was visiting from Arizona and he brought us a tarp and made us a tent out of it. He did a pretty good job too! He also got 2 blankets from a friend of his and said we could keep them. They were soft, warm blankets and I couldn't wait to use them.

Still hanging in there.. not to much later, my friend Bob bought us a tent. I can't tell you how nice it was to be able to lay down actually comfortably, and not be outside. I was so happy the days of having to stay up all night were gone; along with the nights of not knowing where to go.

We bounced around from The Ponds to the Sandy River.. but things were alright. We were eating, staying warm at night, and were able to sleep. By the end of June, we found out I was pregnant. Now we had to get back on the ball and start getting shit together. Before things got better we were staying in the woods off of a bike trail. Still had our tent and we even had a huge soft blanket that we bought and it worked wonders. It got to the point where we were on the side of street holding a sign, asking for help. I thought it was bad enough at times we were carrying around back packs and sleeping bags. I hated looking so obvious. Obviously homeless. Holding the signs was even worse.. but I wasn't going to let Brandon do it by himself. We actually had a lot of people help us - including some older man who walked up to us and gave us $200. It was unbelievable and I had no idea how to thank him. I almost cried.

Because of being pregnant, I was approved for a DV grant. For some reason, finding an apartment wasn't as easy as it was the first time. I find good matches to our budget so I give them a call and get told they don't have any units available. Other times I leave them a voicemail and ask for them to call me back and they never do. I was beginning to lose hope. I took a break from searching. On Sept. 3rd I had the feeling of wanting to search for apartments again. I looked all over Craigslist and looked at pretty much every matching post for our county. I chose to look at a neighboring county for the hell of it. Brandon was making the calls for me since I was so irritated at this point. He calls some apartments that I found that would work perfectly for our budget. Then I heard the news ... they had units available! We jumped on the bus and made our way to these apartments. I needed to get an app in before someone else did. I lost an apartment because of that just a couple weeks ago. I put in the application and on Sept. 4th I received the phone call that I was approved. I went all over town getting everything I needed to make this happen and around 4:30pm that day I received the keys to my new home!

The homeless life is finally over!


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