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.

 

 

Advertisements

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

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑