A majority of Americans are one paycheck away from the streets. One disaster away from losing everything. It's a precarious balancing act we all carry out, flailing our arms to keep from falling.
I had a nice apartment. A great job. A cute little car. My three little darlings the loves of my life and I was engaged to their father. Life was pretty much going amazing.
Then the disaster that changed our lives struck in the form of a young buck. He leapt in front of my car one night, on a 55 mph road. The car was totaled, and the insurance did not pay out enough to cover the loan.
My job was nearly an hour drive away. Suddenly I couldn't get to work, but I still had to pay the daycare for time the kids weren't able to be there for. I couldn't pay for the old car loan AND start a new car loan. It piled up so quickly, in a month we were evicted. The children's father decided to move to Kentucky to be with a girl he had met online. Nice.
I found a place I could work off the rent. A man who wanted his unused property to be converted into a blueberry farm. I was willing to do the work, and stupidly on my part, a verbal agreement was struck.
A little short of two years later, he remarried. We were forced to leave, Christmas Eve of 2016, because she wanted to use the property more.
I had saved up a little, but with my eviction was unable to find a place willing to rent to us. I used the money to purchase a little R.V. figuring I would be able to save enough from not paying rent to eventually purchase a small place of our own.
There are huge problems with that plan. Various repairs have drank down the savings. The alternator has been replaced, twice, the belt, the coil pack and other issues. Not to mention the prolific amount of gas it takes to run that beast. Not a dollar saved.
I have a full time job. The kids are in school. Halloween of 2017 there was a knock on the camper door. Someone got nosey and contacted child protected services. The kids were clean, fed, warm and loved. No abuse, no neglect. Our only crimes were being poor and living in an RV. But CPS threatened to take the three pieces of my soul I would die without unless I found immediate housing.
As I said above, the eviction from 2014 has made me a "risk" for renting to. Nothing saved up. 211 offered zero help, the Salvation Army and the County are out of funds.
So, we went to the homeless shelter. Taken from our solitude we are among fights, violence, drug abuse, domestic violence issues, fear and some really decent people.
There was literally blood on the walls when we arrived. Our RV was clean, quiet, safe and our own. The shelter a frightening den of chaos. The depression I have is crippling, anxiety attacks have sen me by ambulance to the hospital.
Child Protective Services never even came here to make sure we are where I told them we are. But they closed our case. They came, made threats, bullied us into the homeless shelter and struck absolute terror into the depths if my soul and the disappeared. But we're just homeless people, so nobody cares. Oh yeah, they did offer me some bus passes. #ThanksButNoThanks
I work hard, I am TRYING and saving once more. But we have been here since November, I have viewed dozens of rentals and nobody will have us. I will get us out of this mess, somehow.
But, if you think to judge those in this position, to stereotype, remember, you could be just one disaster away.