DEAR HARRIETTE: I lost my place of residence two months ago, but I was able to stay with my family and friends until I came up with a way to sustain myself during this turbulent time of my life. I went to the local government offices and told them my situation, and they were able to provide me with a place to sleep in a men's shelter. This is a rough experience for me because I did not expect to be homeless. I would like to know how I can stay encouraged while this is going on. -- Keeping My Head Up High, New York City
DEAR KEEPING MY HEAD UP HIGH: I'm so sorry for your current state. Dealing with the stress of losing your home has got to be extremely difficult. The good news is that it seems you have been taking actions to stabilize your life. Better still, as in most cities, New York City government has many programs in place to help people get back on their feet. Ask people in charge at the shelter for what opportunities they know about that you can access. Talk to the people in administration to learn about subsidized housing availability and jobs. Get help updating your resume or creating one if you didn't have one before. Let the experts help you, as this is their job. By staying on top of things, you keep busy, which should help with your morale.
Look around you as well. You will notice that people from all walks of life sometimes find themselves in your position. By noticing the connection of humanity across color, age and class lines, you may be able to feel a little better. Stay focused on achievable goals, meaning break up your big goals into little ones. Every day, check something off of your list that you have accomplished.