A night of everything

Graphic by Bruna Costa

One night while I was living on the street I encountered different realities I would like to share with my readers.

It is a reality the street is not reserved for everyone. All souls don’t need to stay on the street being homeless. And I mean that seriously.

That night while I was back from my treatment of dialysis I had nothing to eat. I drank water on an empty stomach.

I had tears in my eyes. I remembered my late mother who would never let me go hungry. While I was in my tent in front of the Epiphany Church, I noticed that a shadow came to stand in front of my tent.

If you don’t eat, you can’t sleep. All your thoughts will move too fast, thinking about trying to find something to eat.

In addition to the huge shadow, I heard three voices of three different people speaking. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, I didn’t know the language. I was scared.

I thought it would have to be the souls of people deceased either in a murder or at the hospital that night somewhere, I wasn’t sure. When you are living on the street, the fear of dying invades your thoughts at every moment. Every new day is a grace and any night is a symbol of fear and anxiety.

I would have to leave some money in my pocket to have something for someone to take. My instinct told me if he found nothing it could worsen my case.

Each of these nights is like a moment of prayer. I have to stay awake and be attentive to the slightest movement. Each person who passes next to my tent is a potential threat. I would sleep just two hours from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. when the whole city woke up.

Being a homeless person puts you in permanent danger. Some people you know from nowhere can come to hurt you just for a cigarette they ask you for and you don’t have.

I remember having to check on my neighbor who was deaf, and watch over her every day and night so that any bad people do not come to hurt her. Life on the street as a homeless person is insidious. You’re open to all kinds of situations you can never predict.

You’ll want to give up on everything. Everyone will go past you as if you do not matter. Every day is scary. Where will I go to find the slightest water to wash myself, to brush my teeth before thinking about what to eat next? Those questions come into my mind.

I still remember it as if it were yesterday. Small insects like lice appeared in my clothes and my hair. I was doomed to scrape my skin every second. This is because all the rats of the whole city moved with wild lice that came into my tent.

One day, I decided to wash my clothes and saw it was all soaked with spots of blood. I even laughed that if the city arrived at my tent it should be able to compensate me because of the harm of the big rats of their city. Being a homeless person is not easy.

Living a life as a homeless person takes away all your privileges. You are forsaken.

Sometimes you feel something is wrong. If you do not take great guard of yourself, you will get into trouble. You will be in the same clothes every day, for weeks and months.

I can’t conclude this without thanking all of the people who have never stopped helping us. With all my heart I want to thank those who despite their own situations, still come to think of us and help us.

Despite my current homeless situation, I am met with good hearts who every day support me and buy my newspapers so I can be able to get some cash to support the schooling of my three girls.

The day God grants me his blessing and I will be back in my business and find a job, I swear I will work to help also homeless people.

Thank you Street Sense Media and its partners and thank you Epiphany Church for enabling a spotlight on us. Being homeless is harder than anything.

But no matter what, you need to keep thinking positively. One day sooner or later something will change. The important rule and motto is: “Never give up, but keep it up.” Tomorrow will be handsome.

Issues |Living Unsheltered

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.