Today, Lamont lives a stable, comfortable life with a fridge that rarely goes empty. However, his past experiences with food insecurity and homelessness have left him with deep gratitude for food and shelter.
1. On the Street
Lamont: When it first happened, when I got homeless, I—and I remember sleeping on, on a bridge—it happened like twice. Yes, I do remember that. And the place called Food for the Homeless, or something like that, they came and they took me in. I was on the street maybe like week, but it was horrible. It was like watching a horror movie. I didn’t know where to turn at. I didn’t know different sources, things to do. It was rough. It was rough. It was pretty rough. I went to social services to get food stamps and I had to survive on that; until they put me in a place where I had a roof over my head; until I’m eating three meals a day. Some days, I wanted to give up. But I stuck in there.
2. Determined to Succeed
Lamont: Surviving is where you got to keep a level head, and you got to know what you’re doing. Like I said, I went to different programs to help me, to keep me straight, you know what I mean? I didn’t fall off the bend. I didn’t do any drugs or anything, but it’s like “fall off the bend” means saying, man, I’m tired of living like this, I’m not used to living like this, I want my own place, I want to do this. Like my place today. But you had to wait for the programs to help you.
I look at my life now, and oh my god, it’s like, I look around; I’m doing much better. I can come into my house. I got heat. I got nice furniture. I mean, um, my refrigerator’s full. But I mean, people need things like that, all the time.
3. A Better Life
Lamont: Oh my god, when I go into my refrigerator and it’s full and it’s not just empty and you just see ice, it makes me feel good. I can keep my refrigerator like that. Especially going to food banks and things like that, you know what I mean, it helps a lot. Living my life now, I wouldn’t pass it up for nothing.