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HOMELESS

In the United States, every year between 2-3 million individuals experience some form of homelessness (Caton et al., 2005). Homelessness is the existence of people who lack secure, safe, and suitable places in which to live.

People living in makeshift homes such as tents, temporary housing, overcrowded conditions, or staying in motels for extended periods of time are considered homeless. Individuals of homelessness include families with children, individual adults, and young people. Poverty, lack of low cost housing, mental illness, and substance use are the leading causes of homelessness.

In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 550,000 people experience homelessness on any given night. This means that about 17 people out of every 10,000 people experience homelessness in the general population. (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2018)

In 2017 people experiencing homelessness increased compared to the 2016 totals due to population increases. Most of the homeless population lived in some type of transitional housing. Homeless status during this time also included abandoned buildings,  the street, or areas not suitable for human habitation. The compilation of individuals included: veterans at 7.2 percent, 7.4 percent were children and young adults not accompanied by an adult, 33.3 percent were family members, 66.7 percent were single individuals. The most dramatic decrease in homelessness has been people in unsheltered locations and veterans. (National Alliance to End Homelessness, 2018)

The above information is just a sample of articles available on homelessness. Every day people can also become homeless. People act shocked when someone is homeless. I know because I have been homeless.

Chronic illness, medical bills, and crushing debt from those situations can financially alter a person’s future. It damaged mine and my husband’s future. I was diagnosed with cancer, had multiple chemotherapy events, and radiation therapy. The crushing blow was the bone marrow transplant and the insurmountable bills that accumulated from this treatment.

It took awhile for the expansion of the debt, but eventually it exploded. We were forced to sell our home to pay off debt. Then we lived day to day in several hotels, because we could not get an apartment.

You always think it can’t happen to me, but it can happen to anyone. The Lord has blessed us since those fateful days. I would never have thought we would have a home again. Good friends, trusting partners, and answered prayers to the Lord were our salvation. I am thankful to God for all the blessings and connections made at this moment in time.

 

 

Caton, C.L.M., et al. (2005). Risk factors for long-term homelessness: Findings from a longitudinal study of first-time homeless single adults. American Journal of  Public Health. 2005 October; 95(10): 1753–1759. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.063311

Happy Anniversary Baby!

One year ago I began blogging. I find enjoyment in writing. Stringing words together and stretching my mind brings me satisfaction. I am currently working on a book about a thirteen year old homeless kid. The fictional journey he is on is his and does not belong to anyone else.

I have noticed that life has damaged my creativity. I struggle more often than not, with my ability to generate fresh thoughts. I don’t know if others struggle in such a way. Maybe they do since many movies are regenerated versions of other movies or stories.

I see beauty in many things and would love to draw and paint my way back to my old self. I have been working on my “studio”. A small bedroom I have designated as a place to create. Currently it is a disaster. But I am planning it and buying organization pieces to get myself to a space where I can create beautiful things.

I can draw, paint, crochet, sew, and make crafts. I also want the space to write on my book. It is quiet and has good light. I get closer every day to the idea I have for the space. Maybe one day it will be a haven of creativity.

Ireland-Clonakilty-Astna Square

AULD SHITEIreland is so much fun! We love the villages and the Irish people. My husband and I were walking along Clonakilty-Astna Square. We were looking for stores with antiques or second-hand items. We came upon this sign. Yeah we were looking for some “auld shite”. We went down to the store. A bench in front of the shop was “auld”. One of those if you sit on it, have a camera ready.

As we got to the far back, the man’s dog came out from under some antiques and he said to the dog, “Ah, there’s my one true love!” (with an Irish accent) His wife, who appeared to be grumpy, was standing next to him. She did not laugh at his picking. We chuckled and meandered out of the shop. We too have had days where our dogs were the better companions. We all get grumpy.

There were many items in the second-hand shop, cabinets, windows, tables, and architectural items that were quite old. Some of the non-furniture items, we had as kids or as teenagers. Life is full of irony! As we left the street and looked back at the sign, we laughed because we were “auld shites” too!

 

Returning to Ireland

Ireland at this time of the year remained true to form. In the north of Ireland the cottage snuggled between the mountains and ocean. The sheep across the road eating and bleating. Several days the weather turned blustery and the mist came over the mountains. The vent on the roof tapping noisily with the blast of the wind. Since the weather remained wet and cool the beach was lifeless except for James and I. We walked along the beach looking at the massive rocks coming up out of the sand. Then off to explore the caves. The tide totally left the bay and the kelp hung limply over the frames. The farmers in their boots harvested the kelp quickly.

Our next exploration we drove through the mountains on roads big enough for a cart and donkey. The grass growing up between the worn lanes. The wind blew gently today. As we explored further down the road we came to the end and the Atlantic Ocean. The waves splashed big against the rocks sending spray high into the air. The sheep and their tiny lambs nibbling the grass and bleating their sheep song. A memorial sat high on the cliff reminding us of lives lost on the rocky coast. A spiritual peace lay over the cliff and entwined with our spirits as we stood looking out at the Atlantic. Ireland a beautiful, stark and intimidating place.

A New Beginning

Beginnings can happen any time in life. They are not reserved for babies or people who move. Beginnings are a freshness, a step out of the mundane. A trip to a place you have never been. In 2014 we took a trip to Ireland. My husband and I had never been out of the United States. We had barely taken any holidays or special trips. We have never had the money to do that. However, our daughter is very good at planning and saving. She helped us plan and pay for the trip. She helped us realize a dream and enjoyed the trip with us and adding to our memories.

We went to Ireland. The trip was a huge step of faith for me. I am a big chicken. We have beautiful memories and pictures. Our daughter made us a book of our travels. I just sat and looked at the book again. The photo brings tears to my eyes and my throat gets tight.

We are going again this summer. All the terror attacks and the people involved scare me and I am frightened to go again, but my faith will kick in and give me courage. My husband, backpack, and the Lord my only traveling companions. We won’t have our daughter this year with us. She is traveling to Peru on her own great adventure.

This second beginning is my husband and I going alone without our daughter for backup. We are not flying the same route, going to the same places or staying in the same cottage. We are stepping out there and doing something different. That is faith. The unseen, the unknown, but the ever present belief that God is out there leading and guiding the way.

Ireland is beautiful. A beautiful island made by God.

Become a Blogger

I am a blogger! Tonight I went to a Christian writer’s workshop. One of the people asked what a blogger was. So, I came home and became a blogger. I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified, died and was resurrected after three days. Scripture also states that he was seen by over five hundred people over the course of forty days. I am so jealous of the people who witnessed the supernatural appearance of the risen Jesus Christ.

I started a blog to talk with other people. So, if you are reading the blog, chat back.