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Scammed & Evicted: How We Ended Up In A Homeless Shelter
There are certain memories that get etched into your memory bank because of how traumatic they were.
For me, that memory was watching my mother break down crying on the lawn of our apartment complex as we were being evicted with nowhere to go.
Around this time of the year, I try to think about the hard times in my past to appreciate where I am today. I try to be appreciative of the simple things because my life has been everything but simple.
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Before the age of 18, I had lived in four states and moved several times within those four states. Unfortunately, with all of these housing changes, there were two periods when my family was homeless. The memory of my mother crying came about the second time we were homeless.
The details of why we were evicted are a little fuzzy because of how young I was (I believe I was 8) but it stemmed from the complex saying that my mother didn't pay rent a year or so prior. My mother felt like they were trying to force her out and she prepared for us to leave.
My mom always had a full-time job but she was a single mother with two kids. However, she did have enough money for a deposit on another apartment. I remember going to view a townhouse and she made an agreement with the landlord.
My mother paid her the deposit and as the time came closer to our move-out date, my mother couldn't make contact with them anymore. It became clear that my mother was scammed by this person and we would have no place to go.
My mother was always the strong personality type and would just carry on even under hard times. However, that morning, as movers hired by the complex moved everything we owned onto the lawn, my mother broke down. I had never seen my mother cry like that before.
That day was one of the worst days of my life. Learning that my mother was taken advantage of, seeing my mother cry in front of us, and then spending hours putting everything we owned into a storage unit. It was an emotionally and physically draining day for everyone.
So, where did we stay after all of this? A homeless shelter. The shelter we stayed at had private rooms and all three of us would stay in the room for months.
It was strange living there because we were clearly different than everyone else.
As stated, my mother worked a full-time job and many who were there didn't and typically received government assistance. My mother made us fear talking to anyone in there and reminded us all the time to never open the door to the room for anyone but her.
It was also strange because going through all of this, I went to school every day and no one knew what we were going through. We would eventually make it out after a few months but it's these memories that occasionally put me back at those scenes from my past.
When people ask me why I never gave up in hard moments of my life, I tell them it's because my mother never did. So today, I am thankful to live in a beautiful apartment.
But those moments still live with me and still bring tears to my eyes. Yet I never want to forget.
I want to always remember this so I can remain thankful for the sacrifices my mother made to take care of us.
This experience is one of many tumultuous moments in my life that has made me so thankful for everything I have, even the simple things like a roof over my head.