I moved to Charlotte nine years ago and found myself adapting to homelessness. As a writer, I’ve learned to face my fears through freelancing with a pen and pad.
When I came to Charlotte, it wasn’t what I expected, but it had better transportation than I was used to. For some odd reason, I felt really shaky about moving here. My old job felt like a dead end, and my life was going nowhere. I lived in a one-bedroom apartment with no transportation, so getting around was a little more difficult.
I lived in Spartanburg, SC, during my high school years and graduated in 1999. My problems started after I dropped out of college. I then went to live with my father and his new wife in a three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Richmond. I was young and trying to figure out my next step. I found a job as a busboy and dishwasher. I didn’t save any money.
I liked my job and the people there, but I had to walk to work. Sometimes people would scream racist remarks to me while I was walking. One afternoon, a motorist came a little too close and ran me off the road. He was also shouting racial slurs at me. When I arrived at work, I told them what happened. I quit that day.
After that, I stayed at my father’s house and watched TV all day. Sometimes, I would watch my little sister. Overall, I felt alone due to dropping out of college, having no license, no transportation and no one to communicate with—just me and the TV, day in and day out, for about a month.
When my father decided to drive to Spartanburg, I went with him. I called some old college friends and made arrangements to meet them there. That turned into partying for two weeks. So I met up with a high school friend who let me stay with him while I looked for a job, an apartment and transportation. I eventually got a job and then lost it after four months. With my last paycheck, I just called a cab and left Spartanburg for Charlotte.
Now, I am faced with chronic homelessness. I have a lot of friends, but most of them are in the same situation. I try to surround myself with positive people, and I still hope (Romans 15:4) to surround myself with activities that take care of housing. I write for this magazine and sell the magazines too. I am a member of Running Works and Street Soccer 945 at the Urban Ministry.
I still hope.