Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where is my heart???

Have you ever heard the saying "Home is Where the Heart is."? Well what happens when you don't have a home? Where is your heart then? We moved to Baltimore, MD in 2000 and I entered the Harbor House in 2004. Just 4 short years when you put it in those terms. Those 4 years were the longest of my life. Those four years seemed more like 10, 15 years. There was no stability in our lives. When we got to Baltimore we moved into a one bedroom apartment that we shared with his family friend. William and I shared a double bed and my son slept on the floor. There was only one bathroom which you had to go through the bedroom to get to. Not the ideal living conditions by any means, but when I look back over those four years that was one of the nicest places we lived. I took the time to sort of jot down a time line of all the places we lived during those 4 years. Let's see if you can follow along with me.
One bedroom apartment to a hotel for a few days then we moved into a short stay apartment which was attached to the hotel we were in. From there we moved in with William's parents who were in the process of moving into another apartment a few floors above us. We were in that apartment until shortly after our first daughter was born. From there we moved to a suburb of Baltimore to a nice townhouse. That didn't last long as we really couldn't afford it and soon got evicted. From there we went to another hotel where we stayed until the money ran out which was just a few days. When the money was gone we found ourselves at a local church asking for help. The church put us in contact with a day shelter. Now for those of you that don't know a day shelter you check in around 5pm they feed you dinner and you get to sleep there. When morning came they fed you breakfast and then you had to leave and were not allowed back in till 5pm that evening. The men and women were not allowed to sleep together so at night I slept on a twin mattress with a newborn and 3 yr old. William decided at the last minute one night that we had to leave and we soon found ourselves sitting in an all night laundry mat. William was on the phone all night till he found someone who put us up in a hotel for a couple of days.
After that the church put us in contact with a single women who belonged to the church that was willing to rent out the upstairs of her house and take whatever we could pay in cash or food stamps. She was a really nice women and did a lot for us. I will never forget Ms. Margie but that is a story for another time. Again William moved us out of there into a hotel but this time he checked out with the kids and left me. I had no money and no where to go. I found myself walking through the streets of Baltimore in the direction of where I had been working. I was not even sure where I was or if I was going in the right direction. I walked for over 4 hours and into the night through neighborhoods that no person especially a white women should be walking through at night. I finally found my way to the daycare I had been working at and slept that night on the playground equipment. I talked with my boss the next day and explained my situation and she allowed me to stay in the daycare at night for the next three nights. William then finally came and got me and moved us a row house. We were not there very long before once again we got kicked out. From there William took me and the kids to the bus station and put us on a bus going back to my parents in Kansas. While home I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child. My parents put me back on a bus by my wishes and before long we were back in Baltimore. At that time William had secured a place for us to stay. I don't know if secured is the best word to describe "The Big White House" or so we called it. It was a room in an old house that could best be described as a crack house. I won't even get into the details of that place because once again that's a story for another time.
While we were there I gave birth to our 2nd daughter. We then moved from there to this apartment over a business. During our stay there was the first time I officially left William. I took the kids and went to a woman's shelter which to say the least was pretty disgusting. It didn't take me long to go back to William. Once again we were evicted and moved to a family shelter which was rather nice. I know it sounds weird to call a shelter nice but I had a lot to compare it to. From that shelter we went into a hotel for about a week and then made our way back to Kansas.
Once in Kansas things didn't change and went from hotel to apartment to hotel to friends house to the "Blue House" (the kids call it). It was while in the Blue house that I left and moved me and the kids into the woman's shelter.
Writing all of that you would think it took a life time and it TOOK a lifetime out of me. It was after entering the woman's shelter that my number one goal became STABILITY. Stability for me and for my children. It was Very Important to me that they have a place to call HOME! In May 2007 that dream became a reality. I purchased my very own brand new home. Now I have a home and now I know where my heart is.

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