I'm Thankful For The New People In My Life

A week of essays on thanksgiving and gratitude

As we approach the holidays this year 2021, there are many things that I am thankful for and there are many things I am grateful for.  

I want to start out by saying I lived here in Rock Hill, South Carolina, about 11 years ago. I recently came back to the area to start over and find a job and apartment. Never in a million years did I think it would be this difficult to find housing. We have been in a pandemic and so many have been crazy. Housing is one of the craziest.

I arrived here about six months ago with some money saved up and high hopes. For months I tried to get into an apartment. Initially I checked into a hotel thinking that I wouldn't be there long, that a job would come, and then I’d find a place to live. Well things didn't end up like I was hoping. I still have not been able to find an apartment through normal channels. 

The hotel stay lasted months. My money started running out. I still didn’t have a job. The hotel was full of people with stories like mine. Some people were employed and working, some had with families, but all were unable to get stable housing—even if they could afford it. It was not a good place to live. Drugs. Prostitution. Constant stress.

After months of trying, I found myself days away from homelessness. 

This is where my gratitude and thankfulness really comes in, because during the last two months things have turned around. It is now November, nearly Thanksgiving, and I am so grateful and and so thankful for the new people in my life. 

When things got dire, about months ago, I reached out to some friends I met here in Rock Hill years ago. Lauren and Owen. They live in Utah now, but on my behalf they contacted people they know here. Pretty soon folks I didn’t know started calling me with ideas and opportunities. Friends of friends of friends started getting in touch with me. I have never experienced such love. I have never experienced so many strangers willing to help me make my situation better. 

I met people who let me stay in their home and meet their family. I met people who treated me with so much respect. I am not used to that. 

In the meantime, I found a job and have been working now just over a month. What is really crazy is I am working for the same company I worked for 11 years ago. I am thankful for that company and my boss. I am still looking for an apartment, but at the moment am renting a room from a friend of my new friends. 

I could go on and on how thankful and grateful I am for so many things.

As Thanksgiving rolls around it has given me time to reflect. I thank my higher power for giving me this opportunity to meet good people. I am thankful for the wonderful things I have been given. I’m especially grateful that I can now pay it forward.

Check out the post Kelli is Taking Action to learn more about Kelli and watch her inspiring video message.

This week we’ll be publishing a daily gratitude essay from folks who have faced (or are facing) homelessness. Subscribe to read them all.

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