I'm not sure how to start this but... Here Goes Nothing!!! We are a family of 6. There have been trials and tribulations over the years. So many struggles that couldn't even bear to be counted on hand. I decided to start a blog about all the positives that came along with our journey.
On February 29, 2016 my family became homeless. The weeks prior to us finding out that we were going to be homeless, I made so many phone calls. I call churches, organizations, and even shelters trying to ensure that my biggest fear wouldn't happen. That fear being our family sleeping in a vehicle that would usually only seat 5. There were so many unsafe things that came to mind when I thought about us having to do this hence the many calls I made.
My husband had been working full-time while I home schooled our children. He was told on the 2nd of February that he was being laid off. There had been a conversation between him and his boss where he stated he was unhappy with how he was being treated there. He made it clear that once another position became available, that he would be putting in his 2 weeks notice.We were under the impression that things would hopefully change especially since my husband had been doing so much for the place he worked. These thoughts obviously based on how naive we were. Moving on...
There were so many things that my husband wanted to change at this place. No matter how many meetings he would have with the higher ups it never happened. My husband went into a bit of a depression.
*Side Note* I had been looking for other management positions and my husband had been to many interviews but nothing came from it.
We were living paycheck to paycheck already so quitting definitely wasn't in the cards for us. I had wanted to get hired at the restaurant, so I could at least make a little money washing the dishes I had gotten so used to doing on multiple occasions. I pitched the idea and it was shut down due to labor already being to high labor with the regulars on the shift. He had been told to stop hiring all together. He had no back up staff at all so if someone called in he was SOL. Things were out of control and the stress was unbearable but he went to work and I continued to home school (while also continuing my job search for both of us).
Within a weeks time, my husband received a call on his day off. The Owner had requested to speak with him about the conversation he had with the General Manager. My husband left home that day in hopes of working out the issues and continuing to do what he loved doing. He came home 2 hours later with a termination letter. He had been dropped from payroll that day.
The Owner felt that if my husband didn't want to work like a dog for 15 hour shifts for 5 days straight then he had nothing to talk to him about. My husband was doing the work of 4 employees by himself and would walk in the door at 5 am. He was a salaried manager so no matter how many hours he worked he would be paid the same amount of money. No! He couldn't be paid for the extra hours he worked because apparently he wasn't even worth the pay he was already getting. He couldn't request overtime for the employees he had hired because his labor was already over by 13% on most occasions. He didn't want to be chewed out for having employees get overtime for cleaning after their shift.
After being terminated, we had a conversation about the bills. We had this understanding that something needed to come through or we wouldn't be able to pay rent at the beginning of the month. Everyday I was applying for jobs in the fields he worked in. On the 15th, nothing was set in stone and we knew that it was time to make those dreaded calls. Every morning I would spend time on the phone. I was placed on waiting lists and told that their were other families in situations there more dire than mine. I was told my family still had a place to stay I should at least be happy about that. I was told that they couldn't help until we were actually homeless. I was amazed at the complete disregard and disgust that I would hear from these organizations and churches that claimed to help their community.
On the morning of the 29th, I had been awake all night. I couldn't believe that we had gotten to this point and nothing had gotten better for us. My children had no idea that we wouldn't living in this home after this day. We tried working things out with the landlord but as soon as he heard no money for rent he told us to go. There was so much sadness I had to hide from my children. My husband felt worthless and couldn't even look me in the eye that day. After we took what little electronics we had to the pawn shop, we loaded our family into our Mazda. We drove to the park, we decided that day that staying in hotels wouldn't work out. (They have a clause in extended stay hotels paperwork that states you can only have 5 people in a room.) We made an attempt to sneak and got caught previously. We were reprimanded in front of our children and charged more for lying before being thrown out.
After a long conversation and some tears, we knew sleeping in our vehicle was the only way for us to keep the money we had for gas and food (until our food stamps started). We drove around that day trying to scope out places to sleep that night so we could already have an idea. Our kids thought were on an adventure. We made sure that the stress wasn't apparent although I wanted to break down. For the first 2 weeks, I spent the mornings calling all those organizations and churches that told me they could help once we were in a homeless situation. Those same organizations told me that I would be placed on waiting lists and it could take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months before I would possibly hear back from them. I cried.. I couldn't hold it in any more. I had held it together and smiled for so long that when the cry came out it was loud and my body shook. My heart was broken for kids. They had never experienced any type of struggle and this was on I didn't if or when we would get out of.