I’ve been coming here three or four years now, several times a week. I’ll check my email on the computer first. Then I’ve got games I do on Facebook. I also check my library account to see if any of my requested books are ready to pick up. There’s a social aspect to it, because I know a lot of the regulars who come here. It’s almost a refuge. You can come in and be out of the activity, especially being disabled like I am now.
I was homeless at one point. I lived out in Hopkins and the girl I was staying with all of a sudden had a new person moving in with her and I was the odd person out. So with twenty-four hours notice, I had to get my stuff and be gone.
There’s an elementary school that has a nice big overhang, so I was basically living there. I kept my stuff in garbage bags and hid it in the bushes. I would be there from 10:30pm when the lights went off until 6:00am when I knew they would come back on. I would set my alarm for fifteen minutes before the lights came on so I could have everything packed up and put away. I would be riding away on my bike before the lights came on. I spent about six months there.
It started to get colder and I had a friend who said I could stay at her place, so I stayed there for a couple months until I got hooked up with Catholic Charities Evergreen Apartments, which is where I live now. It’s just a room, but I’ve got a microwave, a refrigerator, and a bed. I’ve got a closet to just hang my clothes and whatever else, so it works out quite well. It’s really a blessing because if you’re homeless and you don’t have anywhere to go, especially when it’s wintertime, they provide a roof over your head. It’s so much better now.
I’m not a big fan of sitting around doing nothing. I’d much rather be out doing something, even if it’s just taking two buses to get here. I’d rather have my mind be active in reading or doing something on the computer. Coming to the library gets me out of the house for the day.
Jennifer at Hennepin County Library — Walker.