I remember the old saying, ‘you’ll never know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes. It was only a year ago that I thought I would never lower myself to live in a homeless shelter. I had thought that homeless shelters were for the poor vagrants and criminals. That is until I became homeless myself. Last July I had left home for more reasons than what I care to explain on here. I had a crash course in what the world was like when I went to not one, but three homeless shelters. I found out a lot about a world where not everything was all sun and roses. I found a place of caring people, loneliness, struggle, pain, triumph, and hope. There are so many people who devote their time and energy to those who are less fortunate. I have met many who were from less fortunate situations, trying to crawl out into the light.
I lived for 4 and a half months in a homeless shelter for women. It was not a battered woman’s shelter per se, but it housed many ladies who had come from dire situations. The shelter gave them a safe place to live while they learned to care for their children, get clean, sober, get their diploma, and look for a permanent place to live. I saw so much work put into those women looking for a hand up. The shelter is a resident run place, where the ladies learn to cook and clean. (I personally learned how to cook some really nice meals from there, and came away with some really great recipes.) Day-to-day was pretty routine. There was a daycare center, a cafeteria, and everyone got their own private rooms. But there was more to this place. You only need to look at the faces of the residents to know how it feels to have a regular meal, a clean place to sleep, and a safe place for the kids. I give my hat off to those who helped me, and they will remain nameless. If it were not for them, I would not be where I am at now.
Since then, I have been humbled.