The State Hornet

TESTIMONIAL: Spending my first week at Sac State homeless

The CSU estimates that 1 in 10 students have been homeless at some point within the past 12 months. On the State Hornet staff, that number is closer to 15 percent. These are some of our stories.

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TESTIMONIAL: Spending my first week at Sac State homeless

In my first week at Sacramento State, I found myself homeless; however, a helpful stranger made me feel like I was family.

On my flight to Sacramento from LAX, the only thing I had with me was my luggage, some Cheetos and $90 to my name.

When I was on my way to start a new chapter in my life I was feeling nervous, but nonetheless excited to begin this journey in this city.

I didn’t know a single soul here, but that was the least of my concerns at the time.

While I was home I thought I had arranged my living situation. So when I got off the flight I headed right over to the apartment I thought I would call home for the next semester.

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Unfortunately, management said we never reached an agreement on me living there; in addition, they gave the room I was interested in to someone else.

At this point, I was more than a little nervous. Now I didn’t have a place to stay for the semester or to sleep that night.

While it poured rain, I prayed that I could find a cheap hotel to stay at for the night.

I called an Uber to leave the apartment complex and stayed at the Motel 6, which left me with about $15.

I called all over the city that night, trying to find a place to call home for the rest of the semester. Most rooms seemed to already be taken; other times I couldn’t be considered because I had no credit.

I cried all night feeling hopeless and helpless. My dinner that night was the rest of my Cheetos.

Orientation was the following morning; however, I couldn’t afford to stay another night at Motel 6, so I hid all my belongings in my room and came back for them later.

I didn’t have the money for orientation, which meant I couldn’t register for classes that day, but I got an idea of what I needed.

Luckily, a friend of mine traveled a lot so she was able to give me a free hotel room for the night.

My parents didn’t have the money to help me until their next paycheck, but some of my closest friends helped me financially.

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By the next morning, it was time to check out and I again had no place to go.

But my prayers had been answered. Danielle Munoz, the case manager for emergency housing at Sac State, called me with some options of places I could stay.

The list of places to stay included the homeless shelter and three phone numbers of people that were willing to help a homeless Sac State student.

I decided to call all three phone numbers. One number wasn’t in service and the other two didn’t answer, but I decided to leave messages.

One of the alums, a woman named Mimi, reached out to me and told me she could come pick me up from the hotel I was at.

I accepted her invite into her household because I didn’t have any other options. I was scared at first; why would a stranger let me into their household?

Mimi and her husband Kieran treated me like I was family. They gave me my own bedroom, something I didn’t even have back home. They cooked for me and showed me around the city.

   RELATED: I slept in my car for over a year. No one knew.

I offered to pay rent but Mimi told me no, saying I could stay as long as I needed to.

I stayed with Mimi and Kieran for almost a month, long enough to meet their wonderful daughter Sara.

One day while we were eating dinner I broke some bad news to them: I had found a place to stay on campus.

This was tough because they had become my family. I still think of them that way.

While heading back to my new home on campus, as we were saying goodbye for now, Mimi told me, “Don’t be a stranger, and tell your mom I said she has a great son.”

I thanked her for the last time and told her I’d see her soon as I walked away with a huge smile.

I’m so relieved that there are people genuinely looking to help others. I will always be thankful for Mimi and Kieran.

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1 Comment

One Response to “TESTIMONIAL: Spending my first week at Sac State homeless”

  1. Rheo on March 5th, 2019 2:43 pm

    Omg I am so touched by this I nearly cried. It’s amazing that there are kind people with big hearts out there. I strive to help one student some day in the future.

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