There’s not one thing that led me to a homeless life. However if I had to say one of the main causes was that I was ill prepared for life. The first "wake up call" that led me to get off of the streets was when I lost somebody close to me. This person loved me and tried so hard to help me out, but I ignored it and stayed homeless, continuing with the ways of life that led me there.
After this person had enough of my bad behavior and left, it shook me up. It was the beginning of me wanting to change and become a better person. It made me stop drinking and made me stop being such a liar. It made me start identifying with who I actually was and taking accountability. However, what ultimately made me not want to be homeless anymore was my kids - I couldn’t lose them.
Now looking back, if I was sitting here with "Three Years Ago Coco", I would tell her many things, like stop lying to herself. And stop lying to her family and friends that stayed in my life. Because if they remained with me after all of that, then they were the real ones.
Today, I would tell "Three Years Ago Coco", to stop drinking. Stop running away. Stay present. Stay on top - it’s not as bad as it seems. You’re going to be okay. It’s not the end, and when you are at the end of your stick, just remember you are more than okay. There’s still good in you. It’s not the end. You can do this. I would encourage "Three Years Ago Coco" that she could do it. That she didn’t have to settle for other people trying to do it for her. Or being in a codependent relationship because she doesn’t think she can do it alone. She can actually do it.
I don’t even think three years ago I believed in myself. I can now literally change the way that I’m thinking just by asserting the positive knowledge I have and I had never been able to do that. Which is cool.
My dream for the future, move to Canada because Trump’s gonna win. My dreams for me and for the kids - I have all the dreams. Because I now know everything is possible!
The Road I Call Home
CoCo's story is part of the significant project "The Road I Call Home" which aims to bring new awareness, action, resources and love to the many, many special homeless people that call the road their home. It features over 50 individuals and includes an art exhibition of portraits, written stories, short-films and a planned future release of a corresponding coffee table art book. The project is in partnership with Gathering Friends for the Homeless. The unveiling of "The Road I Call Home" exhibition is set for October 2016.