What Living in a Homeless Shelter Looks like from a Teen’s Perspective.

Written by Chad Odufuwa

10676376_10206224844888345_6017475198116534382_n
Chad is a creative thinker, a high school student, and freelance writer from Amarillo, TX. Chad also loves fashion, and Art.



Plenty of people suggest that they know what it would be like to be homeless – some might even say it’s not so bad – well I would have to say differently and I unlike most have been homeless.

The first thought that goes through a lot of people’s minds when it comes to being homeless are shelters and that some of the homeless sleep under bridges, etc. It wasn’t easy because being a teenager one of the things you enjoy most in life is coming home to a personal space and something that you can call yours. When your homeless you even have to change your vocabulary, one of the things you can’t say is, “I wanna go home”.

In talking to a few women while being in the shelter, I found a few people that shared similar sentiments. There was a lady named Tracy who was staying there with one child; she was 20 and saw the shelter as another jail house. She tried to intimidate the other women so that for the time she was there she was seemingly respected. Even when doing the chores that the Salvation Army requires residents to do, she would continue to argue or push other women as she saw fit for her purpose.

Another woman I talked to was just someone trying to get by, she was there because her driver’s license had expired and couldn’t get a job. She said the staff there would talk down to her and one night she had arrived 4 min before they lock doors and wasn’t allowed in. It was quite sad actually – she also said that she had asked a worker for a blanket and sheets and was refused because it was past lights out.

My experience with the workers was not as bad as hers but I was maybe looked at differently and I didn’t like it but there was nothing I could do. I was staying there and it was in a way a privilege so I was polite. Staying at a shelter is just as bad a you would think it would be. Maybe it’s just me who thinks it’s better to have your own home and to know you were safe, able to eat when you wanted and not have a curfew etc.

All the things you can’t do in a shelter because you never know who is staying there and what might happen. At the end of the day it comes down to that you have a roof over your head and you are provided with food at certain times, the truth be told; there’s truly no place like home.

 

 

Think First


By Michelle Romaine

Wanna kill yourself?

Imagine this. You come home from school one day. You’ve had yet another horrible day. You’re just ready to give up; so you go to your room, close the door and take out that suicide note you’ve written and rewritten over and over and over. You also take out those razor blades, and cut for the very last time.

Grabbing that bottle of pills and take them all. Laying down, holding the letter to your chest, you close your eyes for the very last time. A few hours later, your little brother knocks on your door to come tell you dinners ready. You don’t answer, so he walks in. All he sees is you laying on your bed, so he thinks you’re asleep. He tells your mom this.

Your mom goes to your room to wake you up. She notices something is odd. She grabs the paper in your hand and reads it. Sobbing, she tries to wake you up. She’s screaming your name. Your brother, so confused, runs to go tell Dad that “Mommy is crying and sissy won’t wake up.”. Your dad runs to your room, looks at your mom; crying and holding the letter to her chest – sitting next to your lifeless body. It hits him what’s going on, and he screams. He screams and throws something at the wall, falling to his knees. He starts to cry as your mom crawls over to him; sitting there holding each other as they cry.

There is an announcement the next day at school. The principal tells everyone about your suicide. It takes a few seconds for it to sink in, and once it does everyone goes silent. Your classmates begin blaming themselves. Your teachers begin to think they were too hard on you. Those mean popular girls, they think of all the things they’ve said to you.

That boy that used to tease you and call you names, he can’t help but hate himself for never telling you how beautiful you really are. Your ex boyfriend, the one that you told everything too and broke up with you.. He can’t handle it, breaks down and starts crying and runs out of the school. Your friends? They’re sobbing too, wondering how they couldn’t see that anything was wrong and wishing they could have helped you before it was too late.

Your best friend? She’s in shock. She can’t believe it. She knew what you were going through, but she never thought it would get that bad… Bad enough for you to end it. She can’t cry, she can’t feel anything. She stands up, walks out of the classroom, and just sinks to the floor. Shaking, screaming, but no tears coming out.

A few days later, at your funeral. The whole town comes to say goodbye. Everyone that knew you, that girl with the bright smile and bubbly personality. The one that was always there for them, a shoulder to cry on. Lots of people talk about all the good memories they had with you, there were a lot. Everyone’s crying, your little brother still doesn’t know you killed yourself, he’s too young.

Your parents just said you died. It hurts him, a lot. You were his big sister, you were supposed to always be there for him. Your best friend, she stays strong through the entire service, but as soon as they start lowering your casket into the ground, she just loses it. She cries and cries and doesn’t stop for days.

It’s two years later. Your teachers all quit their job. Those mean girls have eating disorders now. That boy that used to tease you cuts himself. Your ex boyfriend doesn’t know how to love anymore and just sleeps around with girls. Your friends all go into depression.

Your best friend? She tried to kill herself. She didn’t succeed like you did, but she tried…your brother? He finally found out the truth about your death. He self harms, he cries at night, he does exactly what you did for years leading up to your suicide.

Your parents? Their marriage fell apart. Your dad became a workaholic to distract himself from your death. Your mom got diagnosed with depression and just lays in bed all day.

People care. You may not think so, but they do. Your choices don’t just effect you. They effect everyone. Don’t end your life, you have so much to live for.

If you know someone who is going through depression, don’t ignore the warning signs. Seek as much help as you can for them.

Michelle Romaine is a Sophomore student and freelance writer from Amarillo, Tx

Middle school News

17201266_10206909789301545_7850669776065151633_n

Reported by Humble Jenkins

Great news, a middle school teacher, Mrs. Exam, is pregnant.

She is so excited to have a child – a baby boy – and does not know what to call him. I asked her a few questions. In our interview, I asked Mrs. Exam how the baby was doing and about her upcoming baby shower. ” So far the baby is healthy.”.

When asked about the baby shower, Mrs. Exam replied, ” I haven’t thought about it yet, we’ll be inviting 20 people; so it won’t be a lot.”.

 

Humble Jenkins is in Middle school; has 3 brothers, 4 sisters and loves her dad very much.

The Inhumane Treatment of Animals

By Humble Jenkins

Edited by Ahmad Jenkins

17201266_10206909789301545_7850669776065151633_n
Me and Humble, Writing Elite’s newest Author

For all the animals out there, I feel sorry. Especially the number that die by the day, not to mention those that die senselessly. If we were to take a guess, it could be said that almost 50% of all animals that are domestically raised – not to mention those raised for food – are abused or killed inhumanely.

We need these animals to help us, such as, service animals that aid the elderly; and others in need, that we use for food, and other products. Some people would say things like, “They are just food, they have no feelings, or choice.”; however there are also other people who do care about the way animals are treated – even those that are raised for food – regardless of the fact that the way they are treated is sad, and often times cruel.

I think that the first type of people, those who care little about the inhumane treatment of animals are greedy; perhaps even heartless. They may not be thinking of the value of life. I say we should kill less animals, so that more of them can of service to people in other ways.

After all, this is how I would feel if I were a cow or other animal.

The Joys of Being a Dad

Our newest little princess, Jordyn.

thumbnail_IMG_1148
Jordyn, she’s been so attentive – wanting to see everything, and before even knowing how to crawl wants to go places… where? I have no idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” – Sigmund Freud

I’ve been rather busy in the past couple of months, our little girl Jordyn came earlier than we expected, bright an early (4 am early) June 29th; and has been an early bird ever since.

I’ve been slowly, but surely getting back into working my writing in between my job, and being a dad. I’ve been stuck trying to wrap my mind on a topic for my next blog post. I thought a perfect topic would be my own children and the joys I’ve had as a father of 7 children… yes, 7. Some men can only consider themselves so lucky.

10402942_354490571396252_958661444937623242_n
Teyvion, where do I begin? Yes he is that talented. A martial arts expert, magician, and dancer. 🙂

I consider it a blessing everyday, and take every moment to share in as much of their everyday lives as I can. There’s so much I miss out on in the lives of my older children. So, it goes without saying that I cherish every opportunity I do get.

13731521_524338317757780_933700009398414586_n
Tegina and Chad, these two are so talented with photography it’s ridiculous. ha ha 🙂

It’s not easy living apart from them (my older children), actually it’s been hellish experience that fails to get any easier. I’ve taken Sophia’s advice of finding other dads in my, or similar situation as a dad.

It was a bit difficult, and tiring research; but I’ve come across a multitude of blogs, articles, and videos of dads who may not always have the time they like with their children.

One of my recurring favorites being the National Center for Fathering:

http://www.fathers.com/s12-championship-fathering/coaching/how-to-build-leaders-its-a-dads-job/

<img class=”wp-image-826″ src=”https://writingelite.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/12938191_10209186146759041_7145763869397628969_n.jpg?w=300″ alt=”My little scientist My little scientist

I found the above article interesting, and inspiring. To me being a leader is an essential part of being a dad. We lead in more ways than we think and give ourselves credit for.

Looking at my youngest when I hold her, and help her explore the world around her inspires all the joys that being a dad comes with. Her reactions to the things she sees, and the varied emotions her beautiful face gives reminds me of the same emotions I get as my older children experience in their lives. It’s like I’m living the adventure all over again, a wonderful feeling me and Sophia get to share over again. ❤

13438909_1306409172721413_763744532609204301_n
Jaedyn holding her baby sister, Jordyn. She’s been such a wonderful big sister. I can already see these two having all kinds of fun together 🙂
My youngest son, Donte and I during one of our workout sessions. He’s an up and coming cartoonist, gamer, and ninja – currently training in Goju Ryu Karate. Needless to say I’m very proud of him 🙂

Lego Women of NASA

LEGO Ideas | Maia Weinstock Ladies rock outer space! Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program, a.k.a. NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated — especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering,…

via Check out LEGO Woman of NASA — MindMake Blog

Fatherhood Series: Preparing for a New Addition.

A father recites verses of the Qur'an in the ears of his new born baby. Muslims believe that this serves as a blessing and protection for children.
A new father recites verses of the Qur’an in the ears of his new born baby. Muslims believe that this serves as a blessing and protection for children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been so excited since we learned the gender of our baby girl, Jordyn Neveah. As you all are familiar with my Father hood series every post discusses things pertinent to fathers. I thought I’d make this one on something recent in my own life; as well as how new fathers as well as veteran dads can best prepare for that new addition to their family.

For new dads, the news of a baby can vary; but in general can be a scary thing. It’s a feeling dads, who already have children can also have some anxieties about. Jordyn’s mother is in her 3rd trimester, and during that time we both have had to relearn a few things.

 

Tips for New Dads

First things’ first… breathe 🙂

Ok, now that that’s out of the way congrats, your in for a bit of an adventure! First thing any father wants to do is personally prepare himself. It pretty much goes without saying your finances and other obligations should be in order (and we’ll discuss that a little later). However, as your baby develops over the course of the pregnancy it’s going to be interesting. So, a little self preparation isn’t a bad thing.

Work on and further your connection with God

Regardless of your faith, a sincere attempt to connect with God helps you to stay optimistic, further develop patience, and just naturally helps you to feel better. A good way to do this is to also join a men’s group or connect with other men at your place of worship. Surrounding yourself around good people helps to remind you of the values you want to emulate for your child.

Watch what you spend.

I’ve been working with this idea myself, taking advantage of coupons, employee discounts at my job, and keeping receipts so that I keep track of what I spend.

Also making sacrifices in your purchases can also help, when you absolutely have to buy something consider the price and whether something cheaper (or not purchasing it) might  be better.

Another good practice is to – if you haven’t already – set up a savings account and put away as much as you (reasonably) can.You never know when you’ll need it, and it’s always nice to know that you took the time out to put something aside.

Take the time out to spoil Mom.

Don’t get too distracted with your own personal growth and plans for baby, mom also needs you. Everything about her is changing and happening as the baby grows. She will get physically (and emotionally) drained easier, as her body changes to accommodate the baby it can seem as if you are on a roller coaster.

… again… breathe. It can be a moment for you to be more involved 🙂 Think ahead to mom’s needs, if she is still working (and many moms do). What will make it easier on her? Some of your best sources of information will be ones your going to see more and more of.  Attending appointments with the obstetrician or midwife will not only support your partner but keep you informed and help build a rapport with the people you will need to work with when the time comes

It doesn’t have to be all business either, you can even make a date of it, take mom out after an appointment to you favorite place to eat; a walk, or anything you both enjoy doing.

Further your knowledge about what goes on with baby.

Learning about what goes on with your child even during this time while he or she develops helps you also build a connection. Take the time out to see the beauty that comes with it. There are so many wonderful websites, and other sources that can help you. Here are a few of my favorites:

http://www.whattoexpect.com/what-to-expect/landing-page.aspx

http://www.babycenter.com/

 

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑