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Originally posted by Dometheus
I left home at 13 due to an abusive father in 1979.
My first memorable experience was getting a push button rambler from a friends father, we made it to Ontario Oregon, and as we were driving down the road, I heard and felt a thump and saw the right front wheel take off ahead of is as we skidded to a stop. I sold everything in the back of my car (including the Rambler) for 50.00.
That's where my foot journey began.
I worked my way to Florida with day temp farming jobs, and sometimes at nights it was so hot I could not sleep. (under a bridge or in a alley or sometimes in the forest) Swam a lot at night to cool off. (I even broke into a local swimming pool to cool off in Arkansas)
6 months later I ended up In Florida ( I figured it was a warm place to be)
At first being 13 seemed easy, but it was not the age of someone who could just go out and get a job. I remember even forging a note from my mother to work at a Burger King. But they did not hire me.
There were times I ate out of Dumpsters (fudruckers), begged and once I even stole 1 string cheese from the store and was chased for about 12 blocks. (glad i was 13 and a fast runner) geez it was just string cheese, and I needed to eat. No one gave a crap about me, I was just another American Reject. I stayed in a crack house one night for 20.00 (never did the crack :-))
and on and on and on.......time went by slow, very slow.
Did you know that rescue missions will not take a minor, and food kitchens kept wanting to tell the police I was living on the streets. And would not feed me, neither would the food banks. I even stole a lawnmower and got several jobs out of it, I returned the mower about a week later after I made a couple of hundred bucks. taking baths in lakes and streams was not getting me clean enough. and some people may wash clothes on rocks, but all it did was tear up my clothing.
Then I stumbled across some really nice Bikers who not only put me up in their warehouse (storage units they partied, hung out and build Harley Bikes.
They build be a 1965 police bike for a few hundred dollars in labor I traded them for work they had me doing for them. It was awesome.
Then January 25th 1982 I was hit by a drunk driver, changed my life forever.
I spent the better part of a year in recovery, then when I was able to I left for Prescott Arizona (where they filmed Billy Jack)-(where my older sister lived) Started as a breakfast cook, and started making a life for myself.
Left a year later and I ended up hitchhiking the entire country over a 4 year period of time. I have seen more things then the average person, and would trade nothing for it. My Brother says I should give him the rights to my life, so he can write the book....whatever.....
I lived it, not him and it is personal.
I now own my own home, Harley and 2 dogs, a great girlfriend and I graduated from collage (penn state-Theology major) Own my own Computer Service Business for the last 15 years.
In the end.......
I Appreciate the simple things in life, and take nothing for granted.
And I am grateful for everything I have.
Rarely wish for something I do not have, very humbling to say the least.
These were only a few of the thousands of experiences I had on the road.
I would not want to do it these days.....Strange place we live this USA.
Now you all know one tenth of the story. Man was it awesome.. Glad I did not mention the packman acid some gave me..... waka waka waka waka waka.
Originally posted by whaaa
What prompted this question is this article I recently read.
Technically, I have never actually been homeless. However in my 30's, after a painful and financially devastating divorce, left with only my clothes, a dog and a Ford pickup I lived on the road as a gypsy, traveling the American southwest, working at any job I could find and living in my camper. In retrospect it was a very matureing experience but I was so devistated by my divorce that all I could do was whine and feel sorry for myself. And drink.
I would like to hear of others experiences, living on the road, jobless, at wit end, and how did you deal with your situation, emotionally, physically, spiritually.
[edit on 27-7-2009 by whaaa]
Originally posted by getreadyalready
I hope this doesn't offend any of our ATS members that have been unfortunate, but I truly believe that if you live a good, honest life, it is impossible to become homeless!!!!
I have gone through the typical scenario, divorce, left with dog and truck and country song..........but I literally had friends arguing over where I would stay!!
I have had a house foreclosed on, but I had family members arguing over where I would stay!
I had a great-aunt and great-uncle that could not have kids of their own. They outlived all of their brother's and sister's and in their nineties, they had no direct family left. My mother and father built them a "mother-in-law's" suite, and they stayed there for a few years!!
If you find yourself homeless it means you have alienated all the people in your life that could have helped you! It means you have not made good connections, or treated people well. It means you have made poor economical and social decisions.
I know that it happens. And it is very unfortunate, but I cannot possibly see anybody that I personally know, ever becoming homeless! In jail maybe, but not homeless! My network of friends and family would never let that happen to any of their own!
If you are worried about this happening to you, begin to treat your friends and family better! Reach out and help those around you, because you may need help someday!!