Photo by Sylvana Uribe/Viking -- HOMELESS TO HOPEFUL: Adriana Lomas, 23, a child development major, was fortunate to have friends to keep her off the street.
Photo by Sylvana Uribe/Viking — HOMELESS TO HOPEFUL: Adriana Lomas, 23, a child development major, was fortunate to have friends to keep her off the street.

By Sylvana Uribe / Staff Writer

People who are on the brink of losing their home face the constant fear of how they will get through the day and where they will call home if their current living situation does not work out.

Adriana Lomas, 23, a child development major, faced the fears shortly after graduating from high school. Not knowing what career she wanted to pursue, Lomas put education on hold to find a job. After submitting several job applications with no response, the uncertainty of Lomas’ future led to increased tension at home to the point where she was kicked out.

Lomas said, “That night I was in a panic asking myself, ‘What am I going to do? Where am I going to go?’”

Lomas found a friend she could stay with, which spared her of wandering aimlessly for somewhere to spend the night. She returned home to stock up on personal items only to find all of her possessions were packed, which she stored in her friend’s garage. The items included clothing, books and knick-knacks she had collected growing up and were later lost when the garage flooded.

The pressure mounted for Lomas to find a solution since her friend was leaving at the end of the Summer to study in Santa Barbara.

Eventually, her parents asked her to move back home. A few months after her return, Lomas was hired as a nanny and said it was this job that brought clarity to pursuing a career in childcare.

Looking back at this period in her life, Lomas said, “I wouldn’t want to be in that situation again. I realized you have to surround yourself with good people and if that were ever to happen to anyone I know I would welcome them into my home.”

Infographic by Brandon Richardson/Viking
Infographic by Brandon Richardson/Viking

Not all are as fortunate as Lomas to have family reach out to mend broken lines of communication after losing their home.

Erika Rodriguez, a matriculation aide in the assessment department, was homeless at 15 years old after walking away from an abusive, toxic home environment.

Rodriguez said she did not know where she was going, but was taken in by a former neighbor and her family. All she took with her were clothing and school books.

“I expected my family to reach out and make me come back and when they didn’t, I was kind of like now I’m in survival mode,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said there were times when she could not afford to make the daily commute to school or work and in some cases arrived at her host family’s home past midnight because she had to walk. Afraid of the dangers the situation posed, her best friend gave part of her lunch money to Rodriguez so she could have bus fare.

When advanced-placement testing season arrived, Rodriguez said she would act as if she did not want to take the tests when she was really hiding she could not afford them. By 18, she had saved enough money to get a place of her own.

Rodriguez said she can now laugh at the tough situations she encountered, which taught her to be patient and attain whatever she wanted through hard work. Now, as a married mother she hopes to pass on similar values to her two children.

Rodriguez said, “Whenever things got really bad, I would just think about how other people had it worse because at least I had my arms, feet and a job.”