The Year Our Family was Homeless Part 1

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December Update: I finally decided to do a Reddit IAmA on this subject. Ask me anything! Live December 17th 2016.

I figured the title might give away what this post is about. I wanted to write a heartfelt post about my journey out of homelessness. While this isn’t a topic I’d usually like to cover on a parenting blog, I still feel I should talk about my journeys in parenting and it’s a related topic. So here goes. If you’re based in the Greater Seattle area and are renters, you probably already know about the tech boom that arrived here in what, I’d like to say 2012? That’s when rentals starting going sky high and jobs were coming here to Seattle area. These were not your standard manufacturing jobs, these were jobs in the tech industry. Since hubby and I don’t yet have degrees, we were struggling to live month to month. With the high costs of rent and living increases, we were not able to keep up with the demand. In 2013 my husband was involved in a car accident and lost his job due to unfortunate circumstances. We finally had to leave our townhouse in 2013 and reside with relatives. We resided with relatives and bounced around place to place struggling to find stable employment and save up for a new place again. Once you’ve been in this situation, it’s almost nearly impossible to get yourself out of this situation.

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In 2014, due to more circumstances with not being able to reside with relatives, we had to finally survive out there with our van only. We had no roof over our heads. We had no place to call home. It’s the scariest feeling in the whole wide world. You feel so alone, yet you realize somewhere out there people have it much harder than you do. You suck it up and live day to day. There isn’t time to cry. There isn’t time to feel sorry for yourself. It’s a day to day battle with trying to live as normal as possible and making sure people don’t find out. Why? If people find out, suddenly you are lumped into that infamous title and people start to judge you for it. They think to themselves you must have done something awful to get yourself there. While this may be the case with some folks, it isn’t the case with us. We were not perfect people nor do we consider ourselves saints, but we are goodhearted people. We work hard day to day and want to set a great example for our children.

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The entire time we were going through all of this, we managed to keep our children fed, bathed, clothed and happy. They didn’t see it as a burden like we did. They thought it was fun. Luckily, we mainly camped out during the summer months. Had it been Winter, I don’t think we would have made it through. I’m thankful for that everyday.

Here we are coming up to early November, as it’s been 2 years since we came out of homelessness. I’m thankful everyday for where I am but there is still a long journey ahead of us. We still live paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to keep up with the high rent costs where we reside, but we’re pulling through.

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It took me 2 years after coming out of homelessness to finally have the courage to write this post. I know I will judged regardless so why not write it anyway? This was a quick post compared to what I thought I was going to write. Questions or concerns? Well, feel free to comment down below. 🙂

3 Comments

  1. October 26, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    Jaclyn, more power to you for writing this post. I think it’s very brave. There’s so much stigma around homelessness when really it’s a difficult burden faced by too many people and families. I’m sorry in advance if you feel judged. I hope my applause helps counteract any negativity.

    When people hear more real stories like yours, they’ll realize homelessness is not all one face/story/stereotype. And I hope stories like yours will encourage all of us to tackle the roots of the problem AND have compassion for those living without a permanent home.

  2. October 27, 2016 / 1:07 am

    It takes strength to write about something so personal. How did you end up breaking the circle? Thanks for sharing this with others! No judgement from me, only compassion and I think this is what stories like this should spark!

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