To be homeless or anything else we want to be, is a choice.Why is a choice? Because with every action, we take and in every thought, we have formulated in our minds, we choose our battles as well our sorrows. Yes, we choose also to be homeless.
The truth of this matter is that you do not have to be in the streets or living in a car, to be homeless.
Take for example the people
that live in Homeless shelters or transitional housing. Although they have a roof over their heads and food, they still homeless. They are in a place they cannot call home or feel as home and yet they choose to be there instead of being in the streets.
Literally, I have being homeless twice in 49 years, but now that I take a deep look at it, alone with my actions and thoughts, I have being homeless most of my life.
My first time of being homeless, was when I was 15 years old. My mother decided to leave her home after finding an infidelity from my father, packed the bare necessities and gathered me alone with my sister of 8 years old and my brother of 2.5 years into a 1967 Volkswagen. We lived in that car for two weeks while being parked under a bridge. Right after, we lived in a rotten wood house, where we slept in the floor while rats were walking over us and every other night we became their supper or amusement.
To be homeless, was my mother’s choice, and yes we all survived it.Looking into 20 years of US Army service, I have traveled the world and have being in odd living conditions, but no matter the circumstances, I learned quickly to make my little space, my home for that period. Yes, sleeping in an uncomfortable bunk bed while surround with all my belonging and dressing from a duffel bag, and eating food from a bag. Surround with all kind of people and still felt alone and homeless, yes that was soldier’s life. However, being there doing a job, was a choice, since no one forced me into it.
Through marriage, I felt homeless and alone. Just when I thought I knew my spouse well, his behavior changed with the living arrangement. I felt forced to put all my belonging in a storage unit from which was later rank sacked by thieves, just because hubby did not want my stuffs in his home. The entire house reflected his lifestyle and the only things that I was able to have in the house, was my clothes, books and my computer. Yes, I was in a home but I did not felt part of it as I was constantly remind that if I do not like it, to move where I came from.
Finally, I made the decision to leave everything behind and moved away from everything and everyone, consequently becoming homeless for the second time in my life.
First, I lived in a friend’s house for 3.5 months, and then I decided to move to a transitional housing for homeless veterans where I remained for 268 days. Living with 38 veteran men with their erratic behavior and memories of war, believe me, was not fun and neither the fact that I was the only female. Yet, the VA (Veterans Affairs) does not consider us homeless while living in a shelter that they call transitional housing. Finally, I decided to take action and find myself a home, because for what is worth, home is what you make of it.
After being homeless for most of the year of 2011, I moved to an apartment this past January 10th 2012. I have a place of my own for the first time in my life, where I can plan for a better future. That apartment didn't last long, consequently became homeless a second time but for 76 days. The experience made me stronger and lead me to find the ideal place where finally I can say, I am home.
Remember, to be homeless does not mean you have to be in the streets trying to survive, to be homeless is being in a place or circumstances that are not your ideal way of life either for choices you made or just facts of life. However, it is in your hands to take action and become the change with your life and circumstances since only you have the power within, to feel at home.