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I posted twice before when I was at my lowest emotionally. I was technically homeless for a little over a month, lost all my furniture, most of my possessions, & the person I believed was my best friend. I kept my car, my dog, & what I needed to survive that I could fit in my car with me & my dog. I met other homeless people who were worse off than me. I was lucky to have a car, a laptop, one relative & one friend who helped me, & money I found in a 401 K  savings plan. I was lucky that I wasn’t drug addicted or disabled by serious mental health problems. I was lucky that I was smart, educated, & had savings I could draw on to try to put my life back together.

Just before I was expected to move out of the home I’d been living in for the last 19 years, I stole my housemate’s gun, planning to shoot myself. I was thinking to write a suicide note saying something like “I’m leaving this way because I’m afraid of being homeless & alone.” I couldn’t pull the trigger though, because something inside me wanted to live, even when I felt hopeless & scared. I thought I might end up in a mental hospital, but I didn’t. I thought I might end up being homeless for a long time, getting assaulted & abused, but I didn’t. I was lucky, but other people aren’t so lucky. I was able to get help & I had resources to draw from that many other people don’t have.

My housemate left the house empty, but with an accessible entrance through the dog door & the plumbing still operational. My bed was still in the house too. I was able to sneak inside with my dog at night for 2 weeks, so we could sleep safely & I could use the bathroom. There was no electricity, but there was a fireplace & the temperature was mild. During the day I had my car, so we could sit in parks, at a library, or in a café with Wi-Fi. I had an EBT card & a little money that one of my nephews gave me. I also found I had money in a 401 K savings account, so I was able to draw from that, which took about 2 weeks to get into my checking account. During that time, I joined an inexpensive gym, so I could take hot showers & feel a little better.

As it worked out, my dog & I only had to sleep in the car for 3 nights, after workmen turned the electricity & alarm system back on in the house. I left notes for them not to take my furniture & stuff, but they sold, gave away or threw out almost all of it anyway. I was able to have the neighbors watch my dog while I sold a few things & made room in my car for my dog. They also kept my family photo albums & microwave safe for me. I was able to give my family photo albums to one of my nephews, who also gave me $ 200 to live on while I waited for my 401 K money to get into my bank.

Once I got my money, I was able to get into a pet-friendly motel with Wi-Fi, so I could then look online for a place to live. The motel had a few cockroaches & only basic amenities, but it was wonderful compared to sleeping in a car. I had a safe place to sleep, comfortable bed, hot bath, TV, Wi-Fi, & places nearby to get food & supplies. I had to buy an ice chest for $15, because my housemate had taken mine, but now I could keep food cold so it wouldn’t spoil. I went to the food closet I’d gone to before when I was still living in a house, & they gave me food that I could use when I was still technically homeless & didn’t have a kitchen.

Finally, I connected with a nice guy through Craigslist who was looking for a roommate & didn’t require me to show proof of income or references. We connected over email, so now my dog & I are in a good home with 2 nice middle aged guys & 2 other nice dogs. We’re all getting along fine too.

I still need to get a job, but my dog will be safe in a house while I work.

I’m past the worst of the last 2 months. I still have dreams of being kicked out of my home & losing everything. I still have anxiety & depression.  I feel safe & have hope now though. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, & I’m pretty sure now that it’s not another train.

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