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I Am Homeless This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

It all started in October 2011, when my dad found out he was losing his job. The company he had worked at for ten years was closing its doors. Then, the first week of November, my mom was hospitalized with mastoiditis, a condition brought on by an untreated ear infection. It could have affected her brain. Thankfully, they caught it in time.

We had just been getting back on our feet after a setback the previous year, so when my dad's company closed for good, it devastated him. He had given so much to this job. Now we just had my mom's income as a school bus driver to pay our mortgage, but she was out of work for two months with her illness, so was paid nothing. I have a small part-time job as a cashier, but I don't get paid much.

When my dad found out he was losing his job, he started looking for a new one, but he was in such a funk that it was nearly impossible for him to function. This brought all five members of my family down.

Then came the worst news of all: our home was being foreclosed.

My parents, wanting me to stay focused on school, tried to shield me from this news. So at first they only told my sisters, but one day, when my parents weren't home, my sisters told me. In December a notice was posted on our front door. That was embarrassing. What if my boyfriend saw it? What would he think? That was all I could think about.

Finally, my parents sat me down and told me what was happening. I immediately ran to my boyfriend and told him everything. I was so scared of what he would think, but all that fear disappeared when he told me he would be by my side to help me through it all. Unfortunately, he didn't keep that promise.

That February, I was turning sixteen, and I wanted to throw a small Sweet Sixteen party. But my dreams were crushed when my parents explained they had gotten more papers from the bank, this time with the date we had to be out: the day after my birthday. They told me they were going to fight it, though. Get us more time. They won for a while, and briefly things seemed normal again.

Then the papers started coming again.

I tried not to think about it. I had my boyfriend, school, track, and friends to keep me busy. I would be okay. That May I went to my boyfriend's prom. That was a wonderful night – a perfect way to get my mind off everything.

Then just a few weeks later, as school came to an end, it arrived – the final paper, with the date and the time we had to be out of our house. That time and date will forever be burned in my mind and heart. And so, I started packing up my life.

The week leading up to the move was hectic. There was so much packing, packratting into a storage unit, and deciding what to do. I had to put my whole childhood into one small box. How could I do that? It was my life! Why were these people taking my home? Why was this happening?

My sisters had already moved out, and my neighbors had invited me to live with them. My life was about to change drastically. My heart felt heavy at the sight of my bare room. I had taken matters into my own hands, finding friends willing to help me pack, move, and just get out so I could help my parents. I didn't want to leave them, but I had no choice. They had nowhere to stay. I told myself it wasn't like we were going to be split up forever; we would be together again soon.

Now, two and a half months later, my family is still living apart. It kills me to think about it every day. I am still staying with my neighbors, and my parents are living in a motel and occasionally in a car. My dad is still looking for a job; actually, as I write, he is filling out yet another application.

It makes my heart happy to see my parents looking on the bright side. Soon we hope to be back together. It's hard to stay positive though. Recent events – including a car accident and my boyfriend breaking up with me – have taken a toll on me. I go through periods of depression, times when I just want to cry, and others when I keep my head up and try to smile.

I never thought I would be homeless. But somehow I am living through it. I have learned that there is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing I have to hide from. I've learned that life goes on, it will get better, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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DirtBikingForDayz said...
Dec. 13, 2013 at 10:49 am:
i really like this article becuase i feel the same. basically my family split up. my dad lives at his own house but i meet him 1 time a week. my brothers are going to college and i feel like everyone is leaving me and i have no help for school. i struggle day by day. and i feel like you have a huge struggle but hope everything gets better.  
 
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tinkerbell0221 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm:
It's nice to know that some one else has an idea of how I feel. I am sorry to hear about your house. Hope you have kept your head up & everything is better now.
 
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SunnyLuvsworldHugsThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 1, 2013 at 9:30 am:
i kno extaclty how you feel ............ last june my house burned down and no one understood now i got to live through and just keep my head up i didnt have a home........... but even tho i lived with family ........ i knew i was still homeless .. i am so srry :/
 
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