By Artie Jr.
I was born in 1955; I have lived in Cleveland all my life. I had worked at several hotels as a member of the janitorial staff and then had taken a job at a thrift store. My job there consisted of assisting with receiving of donations people brought to the store, or donations we picked up from people’s homes. I had a great deal of satisfaction from my job and a good support system with my parents and siblings, whom I still lived with.
A few years back I lost my job at the thrift store. This was devastating and I was having a hard time finding another job. At roughly the same time my parents and a few of my siblings passed away over a short period of time. Between the loss of many loved ones and the loss of my job, I fell into a deep depression. I slept for long periods of time and began to feel like life was not worth living.
It was at this time I entered the hospital for treatment for my severe depression. Through my stay at the hospital I was connected with service providers who helped me receive appropriate medication and treatment for my depression as well as signing me up for social security disability. Although this was a long tough road, my life is finally coming back together and I am feeling stable.
I live in my parents’ home with a brother –in law and one of my nephews. I have a dog that provides great companionship. A neighbor of mine has gotten me involved in a local church; which has been a great support system for me. I volunteer at the church, doing things like lawn maintenance. I have made many positive relationships at the church which have helped to lessen the depression and pain of the loss of many loved ones.
A few months back I was again struggling with depression and contemplating returning to the hospital. I decided to call The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, to see if I could resume selling street newspapers. I was given the ok, and am working towards getting my permanent badge. Having a job again, a support system through my church, and sharing my parents home with family members has helped me feel better, and kept me from having to return to the hospital for depression. Life is going pretty good right now.
Copyright Street Chronicle October 2013 Cleveland Ohio.