So, a little catch up since I quit writing so far back.
Those of you who followed me through my homelessness know most of the story. Those of you who are new and want to read any of my journey may check my archives beginning in July of 2014.
Anyway…I got my first apartment through a federal program in August of 2014. Since that time they have moved me to another apartment complex.
At first I was upset because I loved my other apartment so much, but I’ve grown to love this one just as much, if not more. I am living closer to the marshes now (right across the street), so I can smell the salty ocean almost every day. Sigh…
When I first moved into this place three years ago, I still had no income. I had a place to live (thank God), and food stamps, but no cash coming in. I was having to panhandle to provide the basic necessities of life,and also depended on the kindness of friends and family. I had tried going to work, but the stress from being homeless had made my mental health issues worse. My anxiety attacks were almost constant, even with meds. My therapist said this was to be expected after the trauma I had suffered.
Anyway, I applied for SSI, which is a form of disability for those of us who never worked enough, (I was a homemaker most of my life), to earn points toward SSD. I got a good lawyer and began the process. I literally survived for three years with NO income. A pure miracle if you ask me…or a million little miracles.
Well, by the grace of God, I got approved at my very first hearing. My lawyer was shocked. He had told me from the beginning that I had the toughest judge in our county. I also received a good amount of back pay, another thing my lawyer said this judge never does!
I got approved in December of 2017. The monthly amount is small, but with my housing I have managed to not have to panhandle anymore.
The best part? I used the back pay to buy a new bed that December. I had never had a brand new bed in my life (58 years)!…Until this point everything I had was donated…Yes, I was grateful to have it, but you have to understand it was hard to feel like this was MY home when everything I had was someone else’s first. Here is the photo of my very own bed….I also bought all new sheets, and the awesome quilt from Cracker Barrel. (I’d wanted one for so long)!
Then, when I got my last back payment this past December (2018), I bought all new furniture for my living room…not used, not rented…MINE! The drop leaf table is actually an antique that I found downtown here for $65 and only found out it was worth a bit more later on…
I only recently added the artwork and pillows to the sofa…and the matching lamps. 🙂
And, I had one of my photos enlarged, placed it behind an old window frame I found at a yard sale, and created a “window” for over my kitchen sink.
So, there is my new home…my favorite piece is the “fireplace”. But, the absolute best part of it all? I finally feel at home. For the longest time I was even afraid to hang pictures or do anything because I could not shake the fear of it happening again…losing it all and having no place to go.
I’m getting better…feeling safer day by day. And…I am truly happy.