The Journey from Houselessness to Homefulness

root - Posted on 01 July 2002

Formerly Houseless Youth in the Media intern chronicles her process to homefulness

by Mari/PoorNewsNetwork

About a year and half ago I was houseless. I was forced to leave where I was living and go somewhere else. But where would I go? I was truly scared of what would happen to me. Could I survive everyday? Where do I sleep? How will I eat? These questions entered my mind every second. Everyday I was in survival mode.

I had a job at the time but I was in between checks. I had just spent my last check helping pay my friend's rent so she would not be evicted. So I had no income at all. I started to lose my self physically and mentally. I would freak out in a second. My stress levels were outrageous. I was told I had high blood pressure. Things that seemed so easy for people were hard for me. Things like taking the bus, finding food, and most of all finding a place to sleep. I was constantly moving around. I was usually carrying a big bag with me where ever I went.

During a conversation with one of my friends I heard about a program called Guerrero House (G House). It is a transitional living program for houseless youth between the ages of 18-23. I would be provided with food, a bed, and my own space. So I went to an orientation at G House to find out more information about the program. I met this lady Karisa. She seemed alright. The program had a lot of rules, but I thought I could follow them. So I applied to G House. I was accepted, I got on the waiting list.

During the time I was sleeping anywhere I could find the only thing that kind of helped me keep my sanity was that I was on the waiting list at G House. It gave me hope. About a month and a half wait. I moved into G House. G house was the most beautiful place I ever lived. It is a 97 year old brick mansion located in the Mission District. The garden has so many different plants. There are roses, lavendar, aloe vera, and many more plants. Our fire escape is a gray slide .There are over 13 rooms in G House.

Living at "G" (Guerrero) House, a transitional housing program for houseless youth, was very stressful and also very exciting at times. There were a lot of rules, I had curfews, expectations, and mandatory meetings. There were times I wanted to throw in the towel and leave. But I didn’t because where would I go?

About a year later, there were rumors of Larkin Street building low-income apartments for houseless youth. So I did some research and found out the rumors were true. The building was to be supportive housing for houseless youth. The day when everyone was told where to apply youth started lining up outside of TNDC to be able to apply the next morning. There were about 50 or 60 youth who slept on the street that night just so they could get the chance at housing.

I filled out my application. In fact I filled it out so fast I was number one on the waiting list. I went through like three interviews. The process was very grueling.

This last December, two days after Christmas. I got the best present ever... I got housing. I was given my very own studio with a kitchen and a bathroom. I even had my very own hallway! It was very shocking at first. It almost seemed surreal like I really didn't have any housing. It felt like someone could just take it away from me at anytime.

It has been three months now that I have lived in my studio. I feel like I have had one of the greatest opportunities in housing. I look back now and realize the only way I survived through my houselessness is because of God. She put people in my life to make sure I was taken care of. I was lucky to have supportive friends. I was lucky to find a program like G House. That is what helped me to live. If it wasn't for them and G House I would have probably died out on the streets.


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