Essay Homeless Person

If I’m lucky, I’ll get maybe six hours of shuteye, but usually it’s a lot less. A combination of slow economic recovery from the recession and an aging baby boomer population has contributed to the rise of the 51 and older homeless population.The fear of police or someone else finding me makes me nervous. I feel groggy, low energy, and my legs and feet get swollen and stiff. The percentage has spiked by almost 10 points since 2007 — in 2014, the 51-and-older group represented nearly a third of the national homeless population.I was running out of money fast and needed steady work.Day after day was spent sending out hundreds of résumés and applications, but I rarely heard back and only landed one or two interviews.For years, every morning when I woke up, it felt like I had been run over by a Mack truck.Later, in my 50s, I went through extensive therapy to heal my fibromyalgia symptoms — but then developed osteoarthritis in my knees. I had been working primarily as a freelance writer, editor, and PR manager, but well-paying gigs rapidly slowed down.Unemployment shot up 5 percentage points in 2009, peaking at 10 percent the next year.

For most of my life I had a roof over my head, food on my table, and steady work as a journalist and writer. I was able to live and travel to many places close and far from my native state of New York.

Finally, I hit a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I used some money collected from friends, put my faith into a world where I had always been able to land on my own two feet, and moved out with no solid living plans. Domestic abuse is cited as the main reason for immediate homelessness for 50 percent of women without homes.

Still, there’s always the risk that someone will spot me and I’ll wake up with police blaring a flashlight into my eyes.

Every night and every morning, I wonder how it got to be like this.

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