Creating Opportunities | A Young Woman Describes Her Experience of Homelessness
A young woman describes her past hardships experiencing homelessness on her way to California with her boyfriend. She currently lives in a hotel with her current loving and supportive boyfriend.
My full story is incredibly long. Sometimes I forget the details, but other times I fall so deeply into my recollections it’s like I am reliving those moments all over again...
In August 2018, at the age of 34, I left home. I had never left Texas so I decided to leave one day and hitchhiked to my boyfriend's house. From there we decided we'd both leave on his motorcycle with our backpacks. We stopped in Austin where we sold the motorcycle, bought everything we thought we'd need for a trip (oh, how our inexperience haunts me) just to be robbed of all our brand-new items and the leftover $1,400. Him and I were separated by homeless drug addicts that trickly befriended us. I was beaten and raped and woke up in the back of the cemetery and my reality was altered because I was drugged.
I was able to find my boyfriend again and together we called the police. They came and listened to our stories with disbelief… not shock, just flat out thought we were homeless addicts, jotted things down and told us to be on our way. The next morning we had to decide whether we go back home or keep trekking on. We left in a huff because our families didn't agree with our vagabond fantasies. I didn't want to go home despite the horrible experience.
My best interaction was in Oceanside, California. My boyfriend and I had been sleeping on the streets for a couple months at this point we had lost all of our blankets, and most of our possessions. We were going to try to lay down on the cold cement so we grabbed cardboard from a nearby dumpster to use as well as to shield us from the wind. I had my eyes closed and I heard an unzipping of something and thought to myself ‘who the hell?’ Next thing I knew I felt a draping of cloth over my body and another homeless man was standing over us and had a blanket that he laid it on top of us. As I looked up I saw his eyes and thought to myself never in a million years will I forget the eyes that look down upon me as I lay there shivering.