In a recent interaction with a young lady made me think and reading letters from The Dear Black Girl campaign. What would I write to my homeless self. What words of encouragement could I share, what lessons did I learn. The first thing I thought about was during my last homeless experience a few weeks ago. I didn’t want the label homeless. I told myself I was in transition. That is the term I used when I was homeless in Atlanta and between shelters. I know the biggest thing I learned was to continue to have hope. In the words of Jesse Jackson “Keep Hope Alive”. I realized being homeless is really being a displaced person like Willa Cather short story “The Displaced Person”. You ain’t where you was born and you ain’t where you suppose to be.
Dear Woman in Transition,
You are strong and resilient. This too shall past. Allow yourself to grieve your lost. I know it seems you don’t have enough time. Grieve, but don’t dwell in the past. Remember material possessions are valuable but they are not irreplaceable.
Self-care is important. Don’t make decisions out of desperation. Don’t accept the label homeless or hopeless. You are in a season of change. Learn your lessons or you will repeat this experience. Even though you may have made a decision to cause this situation. Have compassion for yourself. The compassion is necessary so that you can believe you can get yourself out of the situation.
Talk to others you will get more information about resources available and share information with others. Read 107 Ways to Give When You Think You Have Nothing to Give. Another great book to encourage you is Starting Over by Dr. Lakita Long.
You are not alone, Tyler Perry, Christopher Gardner, Dani Johnson, Hallie Berry many celebrities and business people have experienced being homeless. The lessons you are learning make you qualified for OWN Master Class Series.
If you can share your story in the midst publicly, or at least journal for yourself. When you are out of the situation remember to give back. Thank about what little gesture would have helped you and try and help the next person.
Faith is important. It is essential to believe. There will be some difficult days, but each day you get closer to the end of the tunnel. There is light at the end. Try and establish a support system enlist family, friend case workers. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Use your gifts and talents secure resources to get a place to stay.
From your loving friend