CREDOS : Home — II

I lay there mad, scared, and heartbroken. How could the landlord treat us like this? How could our lives change so quickly? Just that morning I lived in a home like most families, and now I was in a homeless shelter. I started to cry and couldn’t stop. I was crying for me, my mom, and my brothers and sisters — maybe even for my dad.

I was in seventh grade and loved my school and friends. Our home was the place all the kids came to — my mom always let my friends spend the night on weekends. My home was fun, comfortable, and safe. How could this be happening? The next morning the people who ran the shelter found us a permanent shelter to move to. The shelter was far away from our old neighbourhood. When I saw the middle school near the shelter I suddenly realised I lost more than a home. I wouldn’t be able to go to school with my friends anymore. As we drove up to the shelter, tears poured down my face. I couldn’t help it.

I didn’t want to go in — I never wanted to spend another night in a shelter. But I also knew we had no choice. The director took us to our rooms. At least it wasn’t one big room. The shelter was an old nursing home with sixty rooms. They gave us two rooms and told us we could stay there as long as we needed to. Bathrooms were at the end of the hall. I would be sharing a bathroom with strangers. When I walked into the bathroom to look at it, I about died. For a 13-year-old girl who needed privacy, this was a living nightmare. —