Sitting in a hotel room thinking, planning and hoping we’ll get food. A family of seven with no money and no home, the only thing I could think of was why? Why am I homeless? Why couldn’t the landlord give us our deposit back? Why did it seem like the world was against us? Why me?
About a month before all of this, we were actually happy. It was spring break of 2010, we had just moved into a new home. I had just gotten my room all cozy, my clothes were hung, my bed was made and I was watching my little brother play Call of Duty. Little did we know, it would be our last night there.
That Easter evening, my mom had called and told me she had seen a ghost and it made her uncomfortable and afraid of the house. She called someone in to pray for the home, but even after someone had prayed for it, she felt really uncomfortable because of that and decided it was dangerous to live there.
The landlord wouldn’t give us our deposit back because of the one-year lease contract, even though we were only there for two weeks. That very moment we became homeless and lost everything.
We went from hotel room to hotel room but at first, staying in hotel rooms was kind of fun to be honest. Initially, it didn’t really feel like we were homeless. It felt like we were in a different town just visiting. However, it soon became apparent that with seven people in a one-person room, there would be problems. Fighting over who sleeps on the bed and who sleeps on the floor, arguing over what channel to watch and not having a kitchen to make a real meal, all this and more made it a difficult experience.
We had a lot of cup of noodles, chips and junk food for our meals. We were only allowed to eat dinner, we ate breakfast and lunch at school and dinner whenever we got back to the hotel room, which was another difficulty because we didn’t have a set schedule, we never knew when we were going to get there.
There really wasn’t any way to get any money at the time and we didn’t ask or beg for it. My parents had to sell some illegal substances to get by. They sold drugs to the parents of kids I knew, so some of those kids tried getting me into some bad things. I personally kept away from all of them. We simply did what we had to just to get by.
Being homeless affects you mentally, to be honest. It’s depressing not being able to have a bed to sleep in each night. Sleeping on floors can be uncomfortable and painful after a while. Not having clothes is another problem. Going to school with dirty clothes or the same outfit I wore the day before made me feel like less of a person.
Everywhere I went, I felt uncomfortable, like people were judging me even though they didn’t know I was trying to hide the fact I was homeless, hungry and ready to give up.