After College: How I Ended Up Homeless

3/21/2016


The displacement of black women in America has been a hot topic lately. If you have ever watched my Youtube videos before then you know I've been homeless before. I think that there is mis-education about homelessness or displacement. I wanted to tell my story in hopes of inspiring others to live honestly in their truth even if is not perfect. This is a series in my life that I have to talk about...and not to talk about it would be a disservice to my readers. Let me explain how I got there the first time and I can follow up with how I currently got here. Of course, I'll follow up with some tips on how to stay strong during the process and how to find you way out of what appears to be a bad situation.


The first time I found myself homeless is when I finished getting my bachelors.The issues I had before graduating was that I never saved enough money to hold me over to get a job. I did find a new apartment and I thought that would be great but it ended up having a bug problem. Overall, I just left that apartment and headed to California. I spent all my money on that apartment and trying to find a job so I came to California broke.

Luckily, my sister took me into her home and then I found my way to my God Mother's home where I spent an entire year. During that time I quickly focused on keeping my business running and getting another job. It was a very hard transition for me because my goal was to get into graduate school in California, having left Las Vegas, and to just be closer to my family. I did get a job, thankfully I was working in retail, then I soon applied for a job with the county and was able to secure that position. During this time I was also accepted to graduate school and I realized that I wouldn't have to struggle. After working for a few months I had enough money to move to L.A. and get secured in graduate school.

This was my first experience with being homeless.

What I learned from being homeless: The First Time

1) Save! save! save!
2) Learn how to drive
3) Who my real friends were and what my family thought of me.
4) God above all else, even self.
5) Never stop being thankful
6) Degrees don't save people
7) Learn to say "No"


The second time I felt was even worst than the first time. I was trying to finish up my comp exams for my graduate program and having barely missed passing two of the exams I found myself in a rut. I was no longer receiving aid and I did not have a job working on campus (work study). Both of my financial resources were cut and my rent was too expensive (gentrification).

Eventually, I was offered a job but it was part-time but it would not offer me any benefits. Although, it would have covered rent it would not have covered anything else. Meaning utilities, transportation, and personal care. So, I decided not to take it because I did not want to shuffle between one job, comp exams, and struggling to find a second job.

I did reach out to my parents but they decided that their retirement funds would not cover another person living in their home. I was surprised when my mom called and asked me to come stay with her. She has been begging me for awhile and I thought, I would be a burden on her, having no job and still trying to finish up my comp exams. My mom kept telling my siblings that I needed help moving and I that I would come stay wit her. I didn't realize that my mom was really sick until she'd had a heart attack a year earlier. She told me that she was really ill and she needed my help. I decided that moving in with my mom would be the best because we needed to spend time together. I was really excited knowing that we would be spending more time together.

On top of that, I was told that, I did not pass my comp exams and the school would not be issuing my degree. I even found out I had to pay for my exams and the class again. My savings was really hurting after paying for the course and another month of rent plus transportation. I had no idea how I was going to take my comp exams or where I was going to take them. By the end of December I got the call that my mother was in the hospital and eventually she was placed on life support.

The next issue I had was, my apartment was flooding due to the heavy rain storms and I couldn't take it anymore. Everything was happening so fast. I was stuck between packing up my apartment, changing my graduation so I could re-take my comp exams, and trying to visit my mother in the hospital (3 hours away).

I tried to keep my family life private not knowing what would happen to my mother.

With my mother's death nearing I realized that I would be homeless. My mother lived in a subsidized housing apartment and once she had passed then I'd have no where to live. Finally, I talked to my sisters and the one who previously helped me, the first time I was homeless, and she decided I could stay with her until I got on my feet.

After paying for my class and having to pay rent for another month, because no one wanted to move me in December, I had depleted my saving accounts. I literally had enough to get a u-hual, pay for a storage unit for 3 months, and pay my bills. You'd think a couple of thousand would go a long way but trust me when I say it did not. As for selling the stuff in my apartment, most of the furniture went to my sister's home with me, and the rest of the little stuff was thrown out or put in storage.

What I learned from being homeless: The Second Time

1) Save! save! and save even more!
2) Let nothing get in between you and your relationship with God
3) Family is everything even if don't have one...build a one. I'm very thankful for my sister and her fiance for helping me.
4) Focus on what's in front of you and not behind you.
5) Love yourself now more than ever. It's ok to spend a few bucks on your favorite ice cream or hair products. You have to keep something constant and positive in your life.
6) Let go of anything that was hurting you. Let it go. Bad habits need to die hard.
7) Stop ignoring your own needs
8) Stop procrastinating
9) Smile when you can
10) Tell the people you love that you love them but most important that you need them.

The Challenge of Job (Biblical)|

The same way Job lost everything was exactly how I felt. I'm not as virtuous as Job but my love for God is the same.

This scripture sums up my commitment to God.

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” 

Currently, I have been blessed by God because I spoke it into existence. I told him that I needed a full time job with benefits. I had been applying to jobs for 6 months or more and I had been to tons of interviews. I even had a one company say they would call me back in a few weeks, they never did, and I followed up with them only to be told, "We'll let you know when to come in for the second interview phase." At one point, I went into an interview and the lady was scared to look at me, and seemed surprised that I was black. This same lady spoke so well to me over the phone and told me how excited she was to interview me with my experience and education. The stories could go on and on but I think you get my point but lets get back to my blessing.

MY NEW JOB

I went to this last interview a few days after my mom's funeral. I had been dropped off at the MetroLink station at 8:30am and the train did not come until 11am. Unfortunately, someone had been hit on the tracks. I thought for a second while sitting there, at the train station, that I wouldn't make it to the interview and this sadness came over me. I wanted to cry and I'm not a crying person. When the train came I knew that I would barely make it to the interview if anything else went wrong. I still got on the train and decided to give it my best shot. I literally, got to the interview 10 minutes til I had it. I smiled and shook hands and answered 8-10 questions and then I walked out not knowing if I had got it.

I finally got the call that I had the job and I was so happy I had to jump. Did I tell you it has benefits.

Currently, I couldn't find the mental space to focus on my exams and I really need to get them done. I was homeless, broke, and mentally weakened by the loss of my mother.

So, this is the start of my new journey. I lost a lot of things in last two months but I gained a lot of me. I realize now more than ever who I am. This has made me an even better person but a phenomenal woman. I don't know what is going to happen next. I'm trying my best to take it one day at a time. I'm praying that I make it past the 90 days at this new job...so please, keep me in your prayers.

This my story, it's not the full story, but it's a glimpse into the experience of what it felt like to be homeless. TWICE.

My current goals are to focus and finish my comp exams, do a good job at my new position, and save up to get a car and apartment. I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to get it right this time.

I ask myself for the first time in a long time, "What do you want? What are you willing to let go of to get it?"

I have a long way to go. This is only the beginning. Come take this journey with me. #androgyninelife

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This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification. This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research. This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

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