During my last week in D.C., I had to leave my spot in my shelter for missing my curfew. As a result, I began staying in a vacated apartment that a young gentlemen found for me. However, shortly after moving into it, the man started to act weird. As soon as he left for work, I grabbed my bags, left some things behind and headed for the train station.

There was a nasty snowstorm the morning I left, and the buses were shut down and I didn’t know where to go. So I asked a man I didn’t know for directions. We walked for two hours and I couldn’t go any longer. My shoes had holes in them and they were soaked. My gloves and my coat were also wet.

I couldn’t feel my toes, my face or my feet. I stopped at a local grocery store to blow dry my socks and a woman called the cops on me. I sure hope she’s never in a bind, I forgive her. At this moment, I sent a direct prayer to my father in heaven that I needed help.

Traffic around the White House sent us on a detour for eight blocks when suddenly I stumbled upon a heat vent! Another homeless man standing by it allowed me to warm up on the vent by him.

I wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for that man and I appreciate his willingness to reach out to me and let me thaw. Standing there, I asked the Lord what his plan was for me. Where was I supposed to go from here? My friend from the day center invited me to stay with her and her other half. I prayed about this and my safety and went. The first day was nice, we stood outside and earned our dinner by asking the community for help as we had no food stamps and no cash.

Someone gave me a ticket back to Michigan. So I went to Union Station with it and came across multiple homeless people inside and outside the station trying to keep warm. Security was kicking anyone who didn’t have tickets out of the station. I waited two hours for my bus to finally arrive and departed from D.C. to our first destination which was Baltimore. We got out and had a break. It was in the middle of a snow storm so things were being delayed, and I prayed not to get stuck in Baltimore. From there, a gentleman sat with me on the bus. There were many seats, but he chose to sit by me. He was a very kind man and we laughed and talked about the crazy life in the D.M.V.

The snow caused many layovers, so I had to wait in Cleveland, Ohio for an hour, then we were off to Sandusky, and then arrived in Toledo, Ohio. Originally I was going to have to go from Toledo, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan and then to Jackson, Michigan with four hours of layover time.

My mother and my kids met me when I arrived in Toledo and we went out for breakfast. It sure felt good to hold and hug my children. They couldn’t wait to tell me about Christmas and the New Year. I heard all about all their presents, and their time with family and their father’s visit as well. From here, my mom brought me to the place I was staying with a family member in the middle of the woods. I didn’t have my home in Michigan anymore.

Things were not as easy as they were before back in Michigan. I am homeless staying with a family member, trying to keep my job which is difficult because I do not have a vehicle.

I also don’t have my children which is the reason I left in the first place. I was trying to get reestablished in life. I wanted to get a job, get a place and provide for my family. Instead, I went from having a home, a vehicle, a dog and three kids to having nothing but a few pieces of clothing and some hygiene items.