Only a few people knew the truth of Williams’ living situation. Pride kept him from asking for help.
“I didn’t want anyone to help me or look down on me or have sympathy for me,” he said. “I just wanted to go to school.”
He took copious notes in class because he couldn’t afford textbooks. If he was able to borrow a friend’s meal plan card, “It was a blessing. If I didn’t, I was out of luck.” Plenty of days he ate nothing more than a cup of noodles he got from friends whose parents bought them groceries. The still-slender student had more worry than appetite in those days.
“I would be stressed and I would over-think and over-analyze and I just didn’t have an appetite,” he said. “I was always worried about my next move — Where would I stay? How long can I stay here? When is my family going to send me money?”
The nightly walks began once he left the dorms. Sometimes he found shelter in an unlocked U-Haul truck on the business next to campus. He could always sneak into a dorm for a shower before heading to class. He could hang out in a friend’s room until curfew at 11 p.m., then stow his stuff before heading out for the night. His friend’s three roommates never knew he was homeless.
We don’t know that we could have gone 3 years without telling anyone that we were homeless or asking for help. Could you?
Image via NewsJournal