Today we commemorate a strange holiday called, "National Roof Over Your Head Day". No one knows the exact origins of this holiday but I think it's an important thing to consider since many people do not have the luxury of shelter.
Every time I encounter a homeless person I feel such sorrow and shame. Sorrow because it's a very difficult situation and it's even harder to solve. Shame because I feel like I could be doing more but I don't know what that more could possibly be.
Last year my partner and I purchased our first home together. It was a large investment but we both felt that it made the most sense. Every day I'm grateful for the wonderful home I'm living in. It's warm, comforting and it's always there. I know I'm incredibly lucky. Before we decided on purchasing a place we looked at renting. It's outrageously expensive, unstable, the neighbours are not always pleasant and your rights are very limited. Living in a rented space is very common and for some a stepping stone.
Long before I ever met my partner I had lived in an apartment with my first boyfriend. It was a nice location but the apartment was a humble bachelor suite - in other words no bedroom. While it wasn't a bad size I can tell you it's not all that great for two people. Perhaps for one person it's quite reasonable but for a couple, it can make things tense and stressful. I suppose what made it more trying in my situation was the fact we didn't have a stable income. I worked and he worked but he would inevitably quit. Over and over and over again. This made it difficult to get enough money for rent and utilities, never mind food or recreation. So we barely lived from paycheque to paycheque. Sometimes we borrowed ahead on our paycheques or went to the local grocery store where every cart returned meant one dollar.
When I think back on how hard it was in that little bachelor apartment I remember thinking how close we were to being homeless. The months we couldn't pay the rent on time and begged the landlord for patience and compassion. It wasn't easy. In fact it inspired me to go to university. More than ever I appreciate the fine line between having a place to call your own, no matter how small and sleeping in a cardboard box.
So today I celebrate how lucky I am to have a roof over my head.
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