20161208 125802 e1496964134962 169x300 POSITIVE PARENTING  FIRST DAY HOMELESS

It’s been 154 days since I walked by the guard shed and left the shelter. I remember having mixed feelings about leaving. I was very happy to leave and at the same time, I was afraid of what laid ahead of me.

You see, as crazy as this may seem, there was a certain comfort in the regiment of being 4039. I knew exactly where my bed and locker was. I knew it was mine once I signed for it. I became comfortable with the faces I saw every day. I don’t miss the smell of smoke. That includes both cigarettes and weed. I don’t miss the midnight fire drills and the lack of privacy. I never want to walk by that guard shed again and yell out “4039” to the note-taking guards!

I found that my homeless experience was not as bad as I imagined it would be when it all began. My good, life-long friend, Ladyjduchess, suggested that I write each day. I was a little reluctant at first but, as each day passed, it became an easy and necessary task. The writing helped give clarity to my situation and it helped bring closure to each day I remained 4039. Following are my notes from my first day. These and all other notes were written to my friend……


“This whole experience over the past few years has definitely been a trying one. I knew that at some point in time I would be homeless. I was hoping that I would be able to escape. The marshals came to change the locks around 10am this morning. I received a letter a few days ago so I knew it was going to happen. I called around 9AM to see if they were still coming. They were, and they did. I thought the social worker would know in advance about the Marshalls coming but she didn’t. When I called to inform her of what was happening, she told me to go back to court but I don’t understand what good that’s going to do.

I decided to go to the men’s homeless intake center located on 30th Street and First Ave. I got on the Q85 bus to go to Archer-Parson. I was texting Ladyjduchess. She seems to know what I’m thinking at the time I’m thinking it. As it turned out, the bus broke down at Merrick and Liberty so I decided that I would walk the rest of the way to the E-train. Besides, it would give me the chance to talk to Ladyj.

I guess I was in babble mode because I kept going on that this experience may be a good one. I really need to have a place in my name. This way in case I need help I can get it. I rode the E train to Lexington Ave. I forgot I had to be in the front of the train to catch the #6 train. That’s what I needed to get to the intake center. I got on the #6 train and got off at 33rd Street. I walked down to 30th St but started walking in the wrong direction. I asked for directions and started walking the right way.

I have finally arrived. I find this place to be just like the courts. There is a metal detector and plenty of police. I asked where to go and was directed to a large room. There are 13 guys here and all of them look like me. Some have luggage. The rest of us have backpacks. I don’t know what to expect. I’m feeling pretty anxious.

I guess my next question to myself is “how did I get here?” I think the answer has to be found in an acknowledgement that I made a few bad decisions. I don’t want to go into detail, but I have to take responsibility for where I am. One of the things I learned when I first got sober was that I should look at myself first when I’m in trouble. It’s called “taking my inventory”. At times I am very naive about what goes on around me. As a rule I don’t get involved in any negativity. For the past six years I’ve tried to live my life on the straight and narrow – I don’t cheat, rob or steal. I do remember a TV minister saying how we are fighting principalities and powers. I’m in this position because I feel the devil wants to drag me back to those dark days when I drank and drugged. The devil is a liar!!! I’m NOT going back to any dark place. I’m only moving forward. In fact I feel that I may be on the road to a second recovery.

I really feel that Ladyjduchess walking back into my life is the start of this recovery. She was the one I was chasing those many years ago. I didn’t realize until New Year’s Eve (2015) that my life was missing something – that something is her. At first, when we got back together, I didn’t want to tell her about this situation. I was afraid that if she knew she would surely leave me. To my surprise she was more than willing to jump in this muck with me.

After being in the intake room all day, I am finally getting a bed for the night. It’s on the second floor of this very huge building. I got turned around a few times. On my way, I passed other rooms with multiple beds in each one. I’m finally at my assigned area which turns out to be a room at the end of the hallway and to my delight it is a single person room. It has one locker and a bed. Inside the locker there is a big plastic bag with includes a blanket, a plastic pillow, sheets, pillowcases and a small bag with toiletries. It’s been a long day, but I survived. I’m going to sleep.”

That concluded my first day of being homeless. As I look back it seems like a lifetime ago. Every day I wake up I’m thankful that that experience is behind me now. Each day I’m eager to see what life experience is next for me.

After all, I’m the guy whose glass is always ½ full.





  • Wow this is well written. This is my 1st time on your blog and am gripped by the power of your writing. I have only been in a prison once as a visitor. Just then I had the feeling of how tough it would be on the inside. So much respect with how the have come out with respect and gratefulness!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *