Homelessness

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Mike Horvath writes a short but compelling post on his first night homeless.

I have never been truly homeless, but there was a period that I was affectionately reffered to as “the couch hobo.” I was jumping from friend to friend, sofa to sofa. This was actually a planned period of technical homelessness, but then I lost my job, and then my car broke down. I got another job, but then I got mugged.

I was still making money, depositing checks, but I had no ID, no phone, no ATM or debit card – no way to access the money I was earning.

It was deeply humiliating for me, because I could not even feed myself. I could not get to class (at the time I was taking a summer class at a campus some 20 miles away). I could walk to and from work, but that was how I got mugged. I was completely dependant on a few generous friends of mine, who supplied shelter, food and transportation for me. Bit by bit I got the important pieces of plastic back, and got back on my feet.

None of this was quite so frightening as true homelessness for me, as I already had a lease signed with an appartment complex for the end of that summer.

Still, the events of that period gave me some real insight to just how close I am to true homelessness. Be greatful for what you have, because, really – you can’t pull yourself up by your own bootstraps – you need something outside yourself to hang on to, and not everyone has that.

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