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Many people take having a roof over their heads for granted.


According to a report from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), over 580,466 people were homeless in the U.S. on a single night in 2020.

The homeless crisis was made worse due to the pandemic. That statistic saw an increase from 2019 by 12,751 people.

Addressing those who were able to come out the other side, Redditor green131313 asked:

"People who have been homeless before, what is your scariest story?"

Some people who found makeshift places to sleep in thought they were going to die while battling the forces of nature.

The Unbearable Cold

"For a while, after my mom lost the house we lived in a burned-out camper in the woods. One night it got really cold. We honestly thought we were going to freeze to death. It was one of my first near-death experiences as a kid. After that, my mom reached out to my dad and had me move in with him while she got our stuff together."

stronk_the_barbarian

The Tornado

"The first night we had a tornado. We were between two hills so it mostly jumped over us. Though it also picked my brother and me up in our tent and flung us a good twenty or so feet. We were awake so we knew what was going on, but it still terrified me. It felt like we flew for ages. We joined the circle after that and everyone sort of tied the tents together."

AnEsteemedCactus

A deadly Bite

"I almost died getting bit by a snake in arizona while sleeping in front of a old store."

chefboyardee8198

With drugs added to the mix, the situation became nightmares for these Redditors.

The Crack Den

"I was 19 and needed a semi-warm place to stay. I was in New Orleans and not dressed for the cold winter night. I didn't know anyone there and found a dark, abandoned house on the outskirts of the quarter. I crawled under the porch and found a place to pass out. I woke some time in the night to a LOT of screaming and breaking things. Some very serious sh*t going on. Turned out it was a crack/meth den I was sleeping under. The fighting continued until just before dawn. I waited for about an hour of quiet before I slinked away."

blackkristos

Drugs And Consequences

"I almost died when someone gave me 'medical e' and my stupid a** took some. I'll never know what really happened that night under the bridge, but I'm alive tho."

Frilledmeg

Terrifying Visions

"I suffered from something which I now believe is called Alcohol-induced-psychosis. It's what some can get if you drink way too much hard liquor and begin suffering withdraws."

"I would see ghostly figures of people who weren't actually there, I saw blueish holographic people that weren't there, I would hear random auditory hallucinations and the only thing that seemed to make it die down was to drink beers. Basically I'd walk down the street and see figures working in their front lawns, or friends sitting on porches, etc. When I walked closer to inspect them, the figure had vanished. Sometimes they'd appear erratic, like a person with Parkinson's disease. Once, I saw a large menacing holographic head of a personal friend in a window, and it terrified me."

"The scariest time is when I walked to the park alone during night, I could hear children's laughter, and I could see figures walking about, I looked towards a fence and saw two figures pointing at me, I kind of just laid down on the ground and shut my eyes to ignore it all. Eventually it all subsided on it's own and I left the park. I haven't suffered any of this since gladly. But mind you some homeless are stuck in this hallucination mind state every day, and that must be a living hell to live through. Drinking alone was the stupidest thing I ever did. Please only drink with friends, it's always better anyway."

RyanFire

As if life couldn't get any worse, the following people were victims of physical violence.

The Attack

"Had a junkie hold a knife to my neck for next to nothing and a cop threaten to kill me but the worst was a business owner that came out of his business and asked me to panhandle further down the block. I was sober and being polite and to top it off I wasn't even in front of his business I mentioned this and told him I wouldn't move."

"He snatched a skateboard that had just been given to me by somebody that had picked me up hitchhiking and turned around. I started standing up to try and get it back from him and the next thing I know I was in the back of an ambulance with a broken jaw and a bunch of missing teeth and to top it off the emts didn't know who they had given my dog too just that they thought it was my friend."

"I refused treatment, we were still right where it had happened and I had to find my dog. Turns out she was with someone I trusted but the emts couldn't even describe who they gave her to and no one I knew was with me when it happened."

"I tried talking to some lawyers in the area but no one seemed to want to help some homeless kid (I think I was 19 at the time) and I didn't plan on staying in that city for more than a couple weeks anyway."

Krillslippin

Brutal Beating

"I got jumped by 3 people. I'm sure this isn't the rarest experience but it truly terrified me. One of them held me on the ground, one of them repeatedly kicked/stepped on my face, and the other guy acted as a lookout. They finally stopped when he told them there were people coming."

no_compearison

These Redditors wouldn't be alive to tell their stories if their situations ended differently.

Interaction With The Police

"Someone called the cops on me for parking a little too close to a neighborhood. The cops knocked and asked me to come out of my RV. Having a dozen guns pointed at you is really scary. They never put them down either while asking me questions why I'm there and asking me for proof which like if they wouldn't let me move how can I get you my ID or my work cards, my work schedule, etc."

"I only parked near my work because I had a three jobs which all needed me that day with one shift starting at 7am for setups. And I'll be there until 10pm."

"It's really scary to think because someone had negative ideas and didn't think I deserved to be there, I could have died if that interaction went wrong. I had been called on maybe 4 times in the year and the others thankfully weren't this. It was usually just 2 cops, ask me to kindly move and that was it. This particular cop group had a hard on to get me on something. They towed my RV. Made me miss my shift, and I had hundreds dollars worth in impound fees I didn't have."

TenaciousToffee

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge expressed optimism for the relief effort to end homelessness.

"Thanks to President Biden's leadership, we are once again putting Housing First to end this crisis and build strong, healthy communities, as reflected in the American Rescue Plan," said Fudge.

"I look forward to working with President Biden to implement this historic package to deliver robust, equitable relief to those experiencing homelessness. Housing should be a right, not a privilege, and ensuring that every American has a safe, stable home is a national imperative."

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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