This is a nonfiction recollection of events as experienced by me; used with permission.
I hit a rough patch in my early 20s and spent some time living on the streets. It was the first time I had nowhere to go and didn't have any belongings so I didn't know what to do at first. My main goal ended up being to get enough money together to get out of there and that ended up being quite the adventure.
Living on the streets was not what I expected when I decided to get dropped off in the city where all of this started. I was living with someone and we had a disagreement about money that he owed me. He offered to give me the money if I agreed to move out. He didn't like me much and I didn't like him either so it was best that I just left.
When I agreed I figured I would just get on the bus to get back to my hometown and find a friend that could let me stay while I got enough money saved for my own place. I was working a bit here and there at the time but since I couldn't live with the person that made me leave I had him take me to a bus station pretty far away from where we were living together so I could travel to somewhere more familiar.
Once he dropped me off I went in to pay for a bus ticket. Once I did that I decided to stand outside of the station with my belongings because it was so crowded inside and there was nowhere I felt comfortable standing. In my suitcases I had all of my clothing and my laptop. I also had my wallet with me in a pocket and a tiny bit of cash that I was going to use for food.
It was easy to see outside because the station was lit up and suddenly a group of younger males approached me and asked what I was up to. I said I was just taking the bus somewhere and all of a sudden a couple of them grabbed my suitcases and another person punched me. It made me fall over and while I was on the ground someone took everything from my pockets.
They ran and all went in different directions. The one that had my suitcase with my laptop is who I decided to chase. He ended up jumping into the back of a car that drove off before I could catch up and then I was there in a bad part of the city with nothing to my name. They even got away with my bus ticket so I had nothing except what I was wearing.
At first I tried to see if anyone in the bus station saw what happened or if there were cameras that caught it. Nobody seemed to care about what happened and so I asked to use the phone to call the police. When I did they said that I'd need to file a report and that it was unlikely they'd be able to get my stuff back.
I didn't even have the serial number for my laptop or anything like tracking software so even if they did find someone with it I couldn't prove it was mine. It was locked with a password that I only knew but I figured that wasn't really going to help much if someone erased everything before selling it. Since I didn't want to deal with making a report and waiting around for nothing to be done I decided that I needed to find a way to go somewhere safer.
This had me pretty afraid and I waited in the bus station overnight because they said I could. It wasn't possible for me to sleep and I didn't want to anyways so I just stood around and relaxed in a chair when I could. The people I had in my life then that could help me were really far away and I didn't have their numbers on me since they were on my laptop I just lost.
In the morning I left the station when I started seeing people that could call for help if anything happened and asked a few strangers for change to get on the bus. There were a lot of buses going to a lot of places so I decided to go to a place that I knew was a bit smaller but still a regular enough city that it had places like a library where I could get online and get help from someone.
There is a lot more that happened when I was homeless but this was how it started. When I got to the new city and off of the bus it was a lot better than where I got robbed but at the same time I knew nothing about where to go. It wasn't going to be easy but my best chance was to find a way to get on the internet and reach out to someone that could help as soon as possible.