Hello! It's your friend, Annie Mae Pelham. You might not recognize the name or even if you see me in person, but let me show you a picture or two of myself a few months back or tell you my "street name", and you might. I am the formerly homeless woman known as "Snaggle-Tooth Annie".
I am no longer homeless. I and several other former street people are living in our own apartments; we live in a halfway housing complex for former homeless people, and we are all trying to get our lives back on track.
I have already started trying to get myself in shape. Getting my teeth fixed (that has been a lot of fun ... NOT!!), getting my hair fixed regular at the beauty shop near here; even got me a job working at a bookstore, helping customers and ringing up orders.
I look a whole lot different from the person you probably saw hanging on the streets or at the local library. You would probably be shocked if I told you that I was homeless 'cause I no longer look it. I look like any other person you might encounter.
I really don't like to talk about that part of my life, but I have been doing so, just so you can see what it was like. I'd gambled voraciously and ended up losing everything: my home, my car, my husband, even my children. Now I have paid for my "sins" and am trying to make things right, y'know??
I am even earning me some cash. It really feels good to be making your own money so I can pay the bills and get what I need: food, personal items, food for the kitty (yes, I have a cat, a Somali I named "Ragdoll"), and helping out my fellow apartment buddies if they need it. I also play the scratch offs somewhat if money gets tight after bills; I've already won twice: the first time I won $400.00; the second time, $1,000.00! Whoo-eee!! You can imagine how I felt!! :)
I'm even going to church every Sunday. If it were not for my Lord and Saviour, I don't know what I would do or where I'd be. Knowing my past, I'd probably be still living in the streets, scrabblin' around in Dumpsters, or trying to find somewhere to sleep and lay my head for the night.
I still sometimes pinch myself to see if I am dreaming, but then I see my bed, my livingroom, my kitchenette, and see the four walls around me, and know that this is indeed reality. It makes me feel good to know that my homeless days are past. I hope never to go back to that route again; being homeless is NO way to live!! I wouldn't wish it on my own worst enemy!!
Well, this is the last entry from me as "Snaggle-Tooth Annie" 'cause in a few months, I will have very nice, straight, white teeth. I will write in here from now on as "Annie Mae". I hope you count your blessings 'cause you could end up like I did. All it takes is a simple mistake or two, and WHAMMO! Your life can change, just like that. Mine did when I gambled. Lesson learned. A painful one, yes, but one that I will never forget as long as I live. It truly cost me everything, and now I am working like thunder to get my life back!
Take care and may God bless you always! He sure is taking care of me!
~Annie Mae Pelham (the former "Snaggle-Tooth Annie").