top of page

A New Dawn Ch.1

by Dawn LeAnn

Have you ever been driving down the road and see a homeless person and wonder how did they end up in that situation? I can't tell you about anybody else but I can tell you about my journey with homelessness. In my series A New Dawn which will be broken into several chapters, I will share with you what led to my being homeless, what it was like and what happened that changed my situation.

So I had been working for the County for, I think, about six years or so. Anyways, they had announced that they were going to be having this mass layoff, which consisted of about 100 people and I was gonna be one of those unfortunately. Before I go any further though you know, I would really like to give you a little bit of background and so you can maybe more fully understand.

So back in 1998 I was strung out on drugs, which is never a good thing, I mean like ever, especially if you’re a parent. The choices that I was making they weren't good which ended up eventually causing a split up between myself and the father of my children. At first I wasn't doing anything to change my life and in fact instead of getting the help that I so desperately needed, I just simply continued to drown the pain with more drugs. About six months or so after my husband and I had parted, I was arrested and the the judge ordered me to attend 12 step meetings and to go to one year of outpatient drug counseling.

So once I was clean, I applied for assistance through the human services department. My worker was like OK well, you know, you need to get a job or you need to go to school. Now I had been a housewife so I had no skills and college just didn't really seem like an option. I mean nobody in my family had a college degree and nobody had ever talked to me about going to college. Everybody either was a stay at home mom or they had a job or they joined the military. So I opted to get a job. I started working at this hardware store and I really enjoyed my job a lot, but it didn't really take me that long to realize that between the job and the welfare that I was getting, yeah we could survive but I wanted more for my kids. So I talked to my worker who got me hooked up with going to San Joaquin Delta College. I ended up getting my certification as a substance abuse counselor. Subsequently got a job working for San Joaquin County as a counselor working with other addicts. My life was going pretty good, I felt pretty good, I had rented my first apartment which up until that point I had been renting a room. I was gainfully employed, and I was cleaning up my credit. I felt really good, my life really seemed to be on track.

Then in two thousand and two I ended up in a relationship. Now over the next several years I slowly lost myself. I had been alienated from my family, from my friends, my support system he had a problem with everything. No matter what I did or didn't do he always just had a problem and it wasn't right. And without going into detail or anything he was abusive. And when I say abusive, I mean he was abusive in every way imaginable. Needless to say when I had found out that I would be laid off, it was just one more thing added to the already emotionally vulnerable and very depressed state that I was already in. And because I hadn't been talking to people about things, I didn't know how to reach out. When I did talk to somebody or see them, I kept it very superficial. I wasn't letting them know the whole story.

And so when the guy I was with, he comes home with a bag of dope. And with the way that I had already been feeling like for quite some time I really just wanted the pain to go away. So I did the unthinkable and I joined him. And as I took that first hit of the drugs I knew that I was making the worst mistake of my life. You know, here I was I had been a recovering addict, I'd been clean just shy of seven years and I was using. And within two months of that fist hit, I had not only been laid off from my job, but I also had to have my children's father come and pick them up, and ended up selling everything in the house, and ultimately became homeless.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

What I See

By Ileana “Kiki” Salcedo As I moved from small town to big city I took a look around and noticed something. Many roaming faces Carved like the survivors of a war. Hopeless Lost As I went to the store,

Students Struggle Financially

by Mikael Honzell It isn't a secret that a good majority of college students struggle financially through their college years, having to pull out loans and hope they qualify for resources such as bog

Veterans Don't Receive The Resources They Deserve

by Mikael Honzell When looking for subjects to interview, I’ve found that it is important to interview those that feel as though they don’t have a voice. So naturally, a group of people that came to m


bottom of page