We believe in being honest and down to earth in this blog. This was submitted by one of our volunteers and we asked permission to share.
At any given time, I have been $2 away from being homeless. A late paycheck that wasn’t my fault; the loss of a long-time job, late fees upon late fees stacking up so much that it seems like I will never get caught up. Hit after hit and the stress keeps coming. I’ve lived in Springfield for 10 years and for 10 of those years, I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. I have a college education (and degree) but not in factory work or medical care, which seems to be the only open well-paying jobs in Springfield. When I moved here, it was because my grandmother was struggling with her health. She ended up passing away a year after I moved here. I wouldn’t trade that year for the world but when I moved here, I started over. I gave up my job, my life and my lifestyle to help take care of her when she needed it. Because to me, family is everything. Since then, it seems like I’ve been unable to catch up.
I have two cats who have been with me for 7 years and 15 years respectively. They have moved with me their whole lives and I wouldn’t give them up for the world. There are some months they eat well, some months that they eat a lesser brand. Either way, they always eat better than I do.
I am one of many. We all have stories, hardships we have overcome and those we struggle to overcome daily. I try to give back when I can afford it, and when I can’t, I volunteer one of my most precious remaining resources, my time. It is all worth it to be able to speak to a new client, or deliver to one, and be able to say “I know what you are going through. I’ve been there and we will get through this, together.” and mean it.