I’ve read the ads on Craigslist and Kijiji.
“We need help, we are homeless living in my brother-in-law’s basement – we need someone with a kind heart to give us money”
“I need a FREE RV so we can live in it. I am a single mother with a disabled boy and don’t have much money. We are currently living in an apartment”
Here’s the thing, when I gave up my apartment and my relationship and traveled from Texas to Florida with a tent in my trunk and $350 in my pocket, I never perceived myself as homeless. I was “in a period of transition”. When I moved from New Mexico to Florida to help my sick dad as a single mom with a child, I never saw myself as homeless, we were “in transition”. When we left my dad’s place and my apartment and moved to Montreal after 9/11 again, we were “in transition” and never perceived ourselves as homeless.
I have stayed in motels, in tents, in motor homes, in houses, in apartments and sometimes slept in the car when driving from point “A” to point “B” and never once did I see myself as homeless.
Because I never saw myself as “homeless” “home” became a metaphor for wherever we were. It was never a specific location. If “home” was less nice than other “homes” we had had, then I did something about it. Psychologically, there was no shame attached with my current living condition. If it was cold and uncomfortable and my current state of affairs was due to …I dunno, let’s say my ex embezzled funds out of our joint account and put them in his own account, having planned an exit strategy and left me with all of the bills after his unemployed sorry self kept asking me for “spending money” on a daily basis while I supported him through college working 2 jobs and the reward for my effort was sleeping in a tent in 40F on a rainy day in Florida while I worked at Walt Disney World trying to save money so I could get an apartment and my child back to live with me. I didn’t see myself as homeless, but I was very uncomfortable, seething mad and focusing on how I was going to turn things around and become successful.
I have had those “uncomfortable” moments where things were bleak, and I was at the end of my rope, walking in the snow, freezing, to get the 99 cent discount bread and food in order to save the bus fare, with a fractured leg, entering the hotel room we were staying in (which I suspect was a foreclosed hotel someone broke into and started operating as a long term facility, but with the housing shortage, I was not going to turn them in as so many families were in the same boat.) During those times, I filled my mind and notebook with titles of books I was going to write. I thought of the life I wanted to lead, of the friends I wanted to have, of the tales of adventures I was going to tell. What I didn’t do is dwell on my current situation. For that month, while we waited for our new rent controlled apartment to become available, we watched a lot of renovation shows for houses we did not own.
We do now. My child is married, college educated and a home owner. I also own my own place, a 100 year old church in Saskatchewan. Yet, I still live in a motor home for now, as I usually live where I work and often my apartment or house is provided as part of my employment and the financial opportunities were still in Alberta…for now.
I argued with a man I had begun corresponding online with who was a proud homeowner that I was not homeless, I paid property taxes for a house (the church, which by the way, looks like a castle – see photo above) I was renovating. I lived in one of the 2 motor homes I owned in another province and drove my pickup truck for transportation and had just sold the 4 horse trailer (which would have made a cool live in trailer). So technically, I was not homeless and resented the comparison.
Yet, I could still be compassionate for the plight of the homeless, those who preferred to sleep outdoors on a sunny morning than in a shelter, those who felt they were not worthy, felt the shame of loss. He had claimed to be kindhearted but didn’t want to have any run-in with “that crowd” and didn’t want to go downtown due to their being there.
Needless to say, I finally told him he was irritating me and we ended the conversation as well as communication. I don’t have to get anyone’s approval. It’s my party, and I’m going to RV if I want to.
Ya know what I mean?
Use your gifts for good, not evil.
- Homeless Shelter Directory in US
- Homeless Shelters in Canada, US and Austrailia
- Salvation Army Homeless Shelters, Food, and Drug Rehab beds Throughout Canada
NEXT: RV renovations
NEXT: Interior Decorating
NEXT: How to “Girlify” your ride aka Psychological Anti-Theft Devices