avatarLawson Wallace


The author reflects on the gratitude and life lessons learned from experiencing homelessness and the importance of family and love.


The article recounts the author's personal journey from homelessness in Minneapolis to a more stable life in Columbia, SC. The author expresses profound gratitude for the basic comforts of a home, such as running water, a kitchen, and safety, which were once absent. Despite living in a low-income apartment, the author cherishes the peace and love shared with his wife, emphasizing the stark contrast to the dangers and discomforts of shelter life. The narrative underscores the significance of family support and the realization that material possessions are transient, advocating for the prioritization of relationships over material wealth.


  • The author values the safety and security of a stable home environment, acknowledging the luxury of privacy and cleanliness.
  • There is a deep appreciation for the presence of family and the love that comes with it, which the author considers essential for overcoming life's challenges.
  • The article suggests that the quality of life is not solely determined by material wealth but also by the quality of one's relationships and the ability to appreciate what one has.
  • The author criticizes the living conditions in shelters, highlighting the lack of basic amenities and the risk of violence.
  • There is a sense of contentment and thankfulness for the simple pleasures in life, such as a bed without bedbugs and home-cooked meals.
  • The author encourages readers to focus on building and maintaining relationships, as they are more enduring and significant than possessions.

The Eye-Opening Lesson I Took Away From My Time Homeless

I have a lot to be thankful for

Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/food-man-holiday-love-5847977/

It was late February 2017, when I got off the plane in Charlotte South Carolina. I escaped Minneapolis and went to Columbia SC to be with the woman I met on Facebook three years earlier.

I love to self-analyze, and most of the time it’s a waste of energy, but sometimes I gain useful insights. The Holidays always are a time of reflection for me. I learned a lot about people and myself in Minneapolis.

I’m grateful to God, and my family

The lesson that’s on my mind as I write this is gratitude. I don’t have a lot. I don’t have a car me and my wife live in a low-income apartment. We’re taking steps to upgrade, but it seems to take forever. We don’t live in the nicest of apartments, we want to be somewhere else.

I love this place. We have running water and a kitchen. For two years I lived in a room without either of those amenities we take for granted. Some of our neighbors are rough, but I don’t worry about getting shot or stabbed if I look at someone wrong.

It’s nice, I can be barefoot in my home without fear

I haven’t choked on the odor of crack fumes since I came south. The best thing for me is that my wife is a much better cook than the people who prepared the food at the shelters. It’s also nice to go to the bathroom without stepping in the urine of my neighbors.

We don’t have a lot, but my wife and I have each other and we have peace. I am grateful for all that God has done for me. I sleep in a bed at night without being eaten alive by bedbugs. I eat food prepared with love by my wife. The food tastes good and is fully cooked. That’s not always the case at the shelter.

Life is sad without love

I met so many people in Minneapolis who had no one at all. I have a wife and a family now. It’s amazing to be part of a family again. They are here for me, and I will do anything for them. If I die tonight, there will be a funeral and people who care will be there to see me off. There was a time when I despaired that I would die alone and forgotten.

I’m grateful for all I have and no longer take things for granted. The eye-opening lesson that was brought home to me in Minneapolis. Life is impossible without a support system. Family is more important than people realize. I want to close by reminding people that material things can vanish instantly.

Focus on building and repairing relationships. You can replace stuff, but once relationships are broken they are hard to mend.

Final Thought:

Be thankful for everything you have. You might not have a lot, but you can sleep in your bed without getting eaten alive by bedbugs. If you can walk into your bathroom without wading through a sea of urine. If you eat food that’s cooked right, you’re doing better than a lot of people.

Count your blessings.

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Life Lessons
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