My sister didn’t believe me when I said I’d been homeless for 11 months. Before that, I had been living in an apartment by myself. Sometimes I paid rent late and was charged a late fee, but my rent was always paid. Eventually, my apartment’s management company got tired of the late payments and evicted me.

I didn’t tell my family what had happened. I didn’t want to tell a single person until I got back on my feet. You don’t want your family to know you’re going through that.

While I was homeless, I stayed for a few months in my church’s basement, at a police station, and then at a shelter, but I spent many nights riding buses. I learned new survival methods. The first is you do not let others know that you are homeless. I prayed all the time that I would come through this and not lose my mind. Some people will hurt you when you are newly homeless. They’ll take advantage of you.

Once I finally found Sarah’s Circle, I was put onto a housing list for seniors. My case manager helped me with the paperwork and presented me with housing options. She also encouraged me to hang on. I couldn’t stop the tears, but my case manager talked me through it.

Today, I live in senior housing and I am enjoying the activities offered there. I get to dance, do crafts, tai chi, and go to church with my friends. I still visit the Daytime Center at Sarah’s Circle for a hot meal and clothing.

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