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Homeless: surviving on the street


By September 2012, I had been living on the street consistently for a number of days. I called it my “vampire syndrome”–up all night, sleeping during the day and only staying in someone’s home if they invited me in.

There was no time for self-pity, because once down that road suicidal thoughts are just around the corner. When I found myself leaning in that direction, I immediately thought about God’s goodness, and looked at the big picture: I had my health, I was working, and God had put some really good people in my life who fed me well, housed me when I really needed it, and simply loved me for who I was without judgment. From my church members stuffing money in my hand and pockets to the kindness of strangers who worked in stores and restaurants, I knew God had assigned his angels to protect me.

While attempting to sleep during the day at my storage facility a couple of homeless women befriended me. I was amazed at how well they adapted to being homeless. One lady opted to be homeless because it was less stress than dealing with her family. Another lady told me her friend had convinced her to move to L.A. to go to school and that she could stay with her. But the woman mistreated her badly, and because she didn’t know anyone else she was forced to live on the streets.

Both of these women were in their early 60s; they worked, had nursing degrees and were going to school to advance their careers. They invited me to sleep in the area where they all slept in a small business parking lot, and gave me the ends and outs about life on the street. I was already armed with a laptop, car, work and some money, and so as far as they were concerned I had it made. They suggested that I get a gym membership in order to take showers and told me of cheap places to eat.

For a while life on the street was bearable. I was part of a small, caring community, no longer did I have to avoid eye contact with strangers or be afraid that someone would try to solicit me for prostitution.

Just when I was settling into my new lifestyle I got the fright of my life, as I mentioned last week. A White male decided he would terrorize me as I slept in my car. It was straight out of a horror movie as far as I was concerned. This particular night he parked behind me and shined his bright lights on me for a long period of time and blasted his music. He then parked next to me where he could look down into my car; he then got out and stood by the passenger side of my car. Through all of this I was lying in my car with my seat pulled back and covered myself with a blanket. It was important to me that I not have eye to eye contact with him.

After about 20 minutes I heard him drive away. I stayed still for another 10 minutes before I dared to look. And just like in a horror movie, as I slowly raised my head and looked out my window, there his big red truck sat next to me, lights off, and him starring dead into my eyes. I freaked. I started my car and got out of there attempting to drive to a police station, but I pulled to the curb and yelled out, “God I do not believe this is Your Will for me. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. I refuse to believe this is Your plan for my life.”

I thought about the fact that I just accepted what was happening to me and I was adapting to it. A light went off in my head, my “Hallelujah Moment.” It said “Girl, you better ask God for what you want and need, and trust that He will deliver you.” I told myself I was a child of God and I didn’t have to live like this. From that eventful night, my life started to change for the better.