The shelter is apart of my story….

I never thought I’d be in a shelter, let alone a micha shelter. But it’s apart of my story now.

There’s something unique that I take from living in a shelter. Trying to conform myself into living out of a locker and a twin size army bed, but I did it.

Having to start from scratch with everything from having a phone to going to the ssa doctors, even being on welfare and being approved for disablity so I didn’t have to do the job fair. I still had to go to we care every other week for check ins. I will definitely not miss the four hour wait to see a case manager.

Having to start over has been one of the hardest things I have had to do. I was really able to catch up during the six months at the hotel and buying the things I needed because I didn’t have to put 60% of my income in escrow.

Being in the shelter has changed my outlook on things, and should anything happen I know I can go back to Susan’s place. That’s my only in case of emergency place I can go to.

It really is a different lifestyle living in a shelter, with having to see social services case manager every week to keep your bed and make sure you are getting your entitlements and keep your profile updated.

It helped me be a little bit more structured with maintaining myself. Now I live in an environment where my benefits are maintained for me, I don’t have to go to ssa office or snap office to maintain my entitlements.

I have learned how to live off $15 dollars a day. I haven’t been taking the money because the benefits coordinator is working on getting my benefits back off the three month hitus from living in the shelter. I moved right when things took place.

If I was at the shelter I would be applying for welfare and getting $22.50 biweekly and $194 in snap benefits. I really don’t know how they maintain the case that have to be opened from the hotel because you have to go we care.

All I know is having to be on welfare was the hardest thing to go through. I couldn’t get anything with $45 dollars a month.

I would go to bed right after dinner and just lay in my bed until bed check which was at 10pm. Bed check is where staff comes round with a clipboard and the list of dormmates would be on printed paper for each dorm, and you had to sign for your bed.

Then I got approved for SSI, and a check came in the mail. I got my cell phone and tablet and put money on a prepaid card so I could stream Hulu Netflix, and Starz. I bought some clothes, and took Yvonne to eat with me at Jimbo’s. Then I was in the three month hitus with SSI. I really didn’t start recieving my benefits until May and I got it in June. May and June together, that’s when I bought the laptop from Amazon prime.

Instead of getting my hair braided I invested in human hair wigs so I didn’t have to pay to get my hair done. I pretty much got everything I needed for the spring summer months with already having fall and winter clothes in my locker, the last things I purchased was UGGs boots with my stimulus check.

I still have to worry about my cable bill and my cell phone bill which I had previously put almost $600 dollars on my plan so get me through the next 5 months. I have two more months before I have to worry about my bill with MetroPCS. Im hoping that my benefits will pick up soon from the transfer. I have a $59 dollars left in my account with the money manger. They took three weeks rent from my account. So after I pay my cable bill I’m going to return the cable box and equipment, and just wait until I get my benefits back. I am still streaming Amazon prime video and HBO max.

But living in the shelter has helped me more frugal. I don’t take for granted the things I have and aquired throughout the process.

I remember when I had nothing but welfare, I would save up the money so I could by panties and I bought a pair of pants. Now I don’t have to worry about these things anymore and living off $15 dollars a day doesn’t seem so bad even though I don’t take it. I only take it on the weekends.

Being apart of the shelter system has changed me in ways that I wasn’t aware of until I found myself in the living situation I’m in now.

I took a walk to CVS and there was a homeless person squating near an open vent in the street. He was huddled over the heat and was wrapped up in a blanket. I couldn’t help but remember when I was on the street and I was looking for a place to sleep. It’s a lonely place to be on the street. Alot of people with mental health issues are on the street.

I’m thankful to Susan’s place. I didn’t have what I wanted but I got what I needed. Everything was a process. From getting a copy of my birth certificate and social security card to applying for welfare. The long wait for an award letter from SSA.

I remember living on the street and people would just hand me food and money with out me begging for it.

It wasn’t until the cops stopped me and called for Ems that I knew that living on the street would end, not knowing that I would be given a social worker to place me at Franklin woman’s assessment shelter.

It’s the hardest thing to admit to yourself that your homeless especially when your going through a psychosis.

The help was definitely needed. It’s been three years since all of that has happened. I have to say I’m in a better place mentally then I was three years ago.

But living in a shelter has become part of my story.

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