For months Kathy’s bills were piling up. Although she had family members who could have helped her, pride kept her from reaching out to ask for support before it was too late.
1. Pitfalls of Pride
Kathy: I contacted them, but not right away. I was scared to even talk to them because I didn’t know how they were going to treat me. I didn’t know if they were going to turn me away. Because when you’re homeless, put yourself in that situation. I wanted to see if things was gonna turn around at my old job, I liked that job, it was retail. It didn’t. And I shoulda known then, several years ago I should have known. When that landlord first told me I can work with you now, but I don’t think I’ll be able to work with you coming up and sure enough he couldn’t. And sure enough I lost everything.
2. Scraping By
Kathy: When I couldn’t get any food, I went for about 36 hours I said you gotta do something. You’re getting hungry. And I looked in my pocket and I know McDonald’s has these menus for a dollar. You can get things for a dollar. I wound up with, in quarters and dollars bills, only $4. I said well you can at least get some kind of meal today, but I said you’re gonna have to get out there and do something. And I did have maybe if it was one day I had a little bit of money where I could get something to eat.
3. Kindness of Strangers
Kathy: And I was really scared I thought how are these people going to react to me and are they gonna help me? And I just sat there just scared. And then one day, his name is Eugene, he came walking up to me, put his arm around my shoulder and said ‘what’s the matter darling?’, he said ‘can you be helped with anything?’. And that’s when I wanted to cry. And I had tears and he said ‘that’s O.K.’ And then I told him my story what happened, that I was homeless and needed help.
Kathy: Even those shelves right there. That little thing right there, I had one in my pantry. I used to stock that all the time and I keep thinking, I’m gonna get one back and I’m gonna stock my pantry again. I don’t care if it’s a little bit here and a little bit there I’m gonna start with one shelf at a time and I’m gonna get that done. Because that’s enough to make a meal. You can make a meal off that or you can add it to whatever you get.
5. New Attitude
Kathy: I wanna tell you something, I feel happy. I mean I got relief that I’ve never had before in my life. I mean, it’s hard to explain, but I’m happy about everything in my surroundings around me, I want to laugh. I don’t want to be scared anymore that I can’t get help. But this is really great. I’m really feeling good about myself. I’ve got all self-esteem here and self-confidence is really working for me. I really love it. I mean that’s really great when you’ve got that much self confidence that you can get out there and accomplish anything. Now I feel that I can accomplish everything that comes in my path, before, I was scared to even try.