Homelessness and Life Challenges

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

This writing is a description of different things that I have experienced during my life that have challenged and strengthened me and my personal growth.

This is my story of  becoming homeless.

As I sit here in my room at Safe Haven tonight is another night that insomnia has come to visit. This has happened quite a bit recently. Some of you.....if anyone reads this may wonder why I'm writing this. Well.....I'm not even sure myself. All I can say is that this year has been a very difficult one and I have come close to giving up at times. Actually so close at times that I've been hospitalized twice fairly close together.

I am not writing this for any sympathy. Rather I think I am writing so that others can realize how easy it can be for life to fall apart..........at least it was for mine to. And I sure wasn't expecting it. Didn't prepare for it...didn't ask for it...didn't cause it....am having trouble clawing my way back up to the top.

There is so much that I have went through while being off work and being homeless that I can't even begin to put down. Much of it involves before I even stopped working  at Resource Bridge. The stress, lack of support, supervision and so many other things led to a decline of my mental health. I realized these things. And had given a three week notice. However, I was pulled out a week early without an explanation except for an email that was sent out saying that I was no longer available from that day forward to assist in Resource Bridge and that I was under a doctors care. This email was sent out the day after I worked my last shift. It totally did a number on me. No closure with clients, no saying goodbye to coworkers, no finishing things up, and to find out I was leaving before my notice was up in an email and that someone was already replacing me. Then when I met with a supervisor from Recovery Dane and asked why I was told, "For my own reasons".

I hesitated about putting names of places I worked in here. However, I have never been one to shrink from being honest. That's one thing that I think most anyone who knows me would agree with. So, if this affects me in a negative manner as far as work in the future so be it. It is factual.

Since 2006 I've worked 2 jobs. This has often included working 56 hours or so a week. Up until January of this year I was still doing so. Then I hurt my back at work. That was the start of my downward spiral. I was off work for awhile. Was released to go back. However, I wasn'nt able to do so.

When I wasn't able to return to work the depression that I often suffer from started. I spiraled downward and hit bottom pretty hard. I won't go into detail as far as all the contributing factors. Let's just say work and things that happened at work played a big role as well as finances from not getting workman's comp right away.

 Regardless I ended up on the mental health unit at UW hospital the end of January after having my employment abruptly ended with no warning with the employer I was working for part time. This was even done with an email which was sent to the whole team the day after I had worked what I then found out what had been my last day.

After being in the hospital almost a week I went to stay with a friend as I still wasn't doing well. To make a long story shorter......I stayed with her for about a month. Gave up my apartment because I was off work and the rent was going up to almost $700, I was on short term disability from work at the time and there was no way I could afford that increase from $549. Anyway, I then thought I was going to get approved for long term disability through Journey (4 months later). Because I was still in no shape to work. My emotional state was still very unstable. I was still also very depressed and had had many medication changes.

A friend and I had made plans to get an apartment together and I had saved enough for the deposit and first month rent. However, that wasn't to be. I then found out I was turned down for the long term disability coverage through Unum because of a pre existing health condition. That pre exisiting health condition was Bi Polar Disorder. This was also the reason I was off on medical leave and had been hospitalized in January and March or April (not sure which the memory is fuzzy).

So, then I had no way to be able to pay my share for the apartment we'd been approved for and planned on moving into. Because never did I think I'd be turned down for the long term disability due to a pre existing condition. After all I was on short term disability for the same "condition".

Well, anyway as a result I became homeless because I couldn't continue to stay with my friend due to her lease. After that I stayed with some generous friends for I believe it was a couple of months. However, I messed that up by putting their address down as where I was staying. However, I wrote that I wasn't on the lease and wasn't paying any rent. I also put my PO Box down as my mailing address. However, the places I applied to for housing mailed the results of the housing applications to my friends which made the mailman ask the manager if he knew who I was. So, then I had to leave there. It really bothered me that I had even mentioned that I was staying with them and had in any way put them in a bad spot at all.

Next stop was the Salvation Army. I was there for about a month I think. Let me just mention that you can only be there overnight. Then you have to be gone from 8a until supper time. Being at the Salvation Army was very difficult for me. Noise already was something that I'd started having a great deal of difficulty dealing with since the first hospitalization in January. Not just a little trouble....so much so that I just wanted to yell SHUT UP at people when they started.

One night I even asked if the Salvation Army staff could help arrange a Recovery House screening. However, after deciding that it would involve my supervisors being the ones who decided and would know my personal business I decided against that. There would have also been the fact that coworkers would also have worked at Recovery House which would have just been really awkward.

Since May I've had no income. The end of July my health insurance will be running out. And me.......someone who is used to working 56 hours or so a week has filed for SSDI which I think just really sucks. I worry that the end of this month I'm not going to have health insurance coverage. But, I do think there are some options for me. Thank goodness this is the case considering how much my medications cost.

When I was working I often used to think that I could imagine what it would be like to be homeless. Well I can now honestly say it's much more draining than ever thought. This is especially true for anyone staying at the shelters overnight who have to be out and about all day. I will say though that Safe Haven.....in my opinion has a great program and a very friendly, helpful set of staff members. They've been a blessing to me.

The Salvation Army staff also were very supportive and helpful during my stay. This experience has required me to deal with a lot, depend on others when I would have preferred not to, to ask for help and to advocate for myself like I've NEVER had to before.

So, please the next time you see someone tthat you think is homeless.........don't make any assumptions.

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Submitted: November 26, 2014

© Copyright 2021 donnabell30. All rights reserved.

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