Anonymous, age 17
Well, it was back in the beginning of ’99. My family and I were staying in the Northside projects, but we had to move from there because those apartment buildings were gonna be knocked down. So we moved, we moved over Northeast, because Section 8 housing helped us get that place, but anyway we were there a month and got evicted ’cause my brother and sisters and I brought the wrong people over and they caused trouble.
Then we moved in with my aunt and cousins. We stayed there three and a half months and got kicked out by her because she thought my parents drank too much, so she kicked us out. Then we moved into the shelter and stayed there a month and a half or so, but my parents came back to the shelter drunk, and they said we couldn’t go back there anymore. So we put all of our stuff in storage and stayed on the streets because we had nowhere to go, and to tell you the truth, it was scary.
Me and my sisters stayed under this bridge with a couple of other homeless people, but we knew them, and my mom and dad stayed under a different bridge. My dad sometimes has seizures, so that was scary for my mom because they are under a bridge and that is really scary. My brother, he stayed with friends, so he was all right. Plus, he is a year older than me, so he’ll be all right out there.
As for me and my sisters, when we were hungry, we had to go to the Salvation Army truck or to churches to eat. When we took showers, we went to a shelter or to a friend’s house. We had to wear our same clothes for about a couple of weeks until a friend gave us a change of clothes.
Man, I had a hard time out there. I didn’t know being homeless would be that bad, but I was scared. I thought it was a dream, but a dream where I would never wake up. It was more like a nightmare. Being homeless isn’t fun. I’m sad that I had to experience being homeless. I never thought I would be homeless ever, because I see other people that are homeless and dirty, and I feel sorry for them because I know how it was, and I never want to be homeless again.
I heard of people that were dying out there because they were homeless. I was always scared because I didn’t know if we were gonna end up dead. I’m glad we’re not, and I am happy we survived it.
Now we have a really nice home because this very nice lady helped us get this place, and I want to thank her so much for getting us off the streets. I have a nice home, and I’m in school now. I’m doing better than a year ago, my worst nightmare ever.
I am glad we have our new house because now I have my own room and a kitty cat named Mittens. And my room is just my size. I have my own room where I can put up posters and other pictures, and I have a stereo. That’s why I’m happy I have a house.
I’m also happy we got a nice home, ’cause when a friend asks, “Where do you live?,” I’ll just say, “Over south in a nice house.” We have a phone, so if anything important happens, someone can call us or we can call out, and we can keep in touch with everyone. I am happy we have a phone because my mom is happy, and that makes us all happy. Thanks for the house.