My name is Khadiijah Johnson and I have been in counseling at Zocalo Outreach for over one year. I had just left a shelter when I first began meeting with a Zocalo counselor. It was scary living in a shelter; I almost never got sleep and I never felt comfortable there. I was able to leave the shelter when Zocalo helped me to find housing in an apartment!
When I first met with my counselor, we talked about my goals and what I wanted out of my future. I had never given much thought to my future until that point. Immediately after meeting with my counselor, I knew that I wanted to get my life together and start working.
I soon got a job working at Macy’s and I have been there almost a year now. I love working! Most of all, I love going home to my own space. I no longer have to worry about where I will sleep because I actually have my own bed.
My life has changed so much since working with Zocalo Outreach. I once was just a person waiting in line to get a bed at the shelter and now I have a sense of purpose. Becoming homeless happened so fast: one second I had a place to go and the next, I was homeless.
Now that I am working, I am confident that I will be able to take care of myself in the future. I have worked with my counselor to feel more secure about the decisions I make. I know someday, when I have children, I want to provide them with things I never had. Ever since I met with my counselor I can now say that I have a home, a job, and a future.
-Khadiijah Johnson, August 2011