13 years ago, I was pregnant with my son, and had a 14-year-old daughter. We were homeless, penniless and jobless. Totally destitute. So much so, that I seriously contemplated giving my son up for adoption after he was born. As a matter of fact, I let him go to a foster home for two weeks after his birth, in order to give myself time and opportunity to make a rational decision. Of course, now you know that I kept him.
Fortunately, there was a homeless shelter here in Rockville which was called: 'Stepping Stones Shelter. They helped us get on our feet, and into Public Housing, where we are now. My whole intent of accepting public housing was to use it as a temporary measure to help us get back on our feet, and become self-sufficient again. I say "again", because I had been self-sufficient before, but a prolonged illness combined with a difficult pregnancy, losing my job and getting evicted all at the same time caused me/us to get behind the proverbial eightball.
Being in public housing has a certain stigma attached to it. No matter who you are, or what your specific situation is, it implies that you're a drunk, or a lazy, stupid bum... Gotta be - otherwise - how would you get to the bottom of the barrel?!!
Contrary to the stereotype, I have always been a motivated, goal-oriented individual. Clear with what I want, and what my kids need. That's why I am so angry that the same system which was supposed to help - has actually ended-up hurting myself and my family. If you've read my prior blogs, then you'll know what I'm talking about....
I can't stress how much I've complied with every single rule and regulation set forth before me by this housing authority, yet they've played fast and loose with our lives and our money like kittens with a ball of thread. Carelessly, recklessly and rudely.
Had you asked me from the beginning, I would have told you definitively that we wouldn't be here any longer than 5 years. So far, it's been 10; With no end in sight.
So, now it looks like I'm just a lazy bum content to take advantage of the 'system', when nothing could be further from the truth.
It's embarrassing, frustrating and humiliating. That's another reason why I have no problem going 'public' right now. If I can be embarrassed, frustrated, and humiliated - then hopefully, they can too.