Hi!!! I must introduce myself. My name is Tamir-the " Thrill". (It’s a high school name lol-don’t ask!) I guess the reason and premise for this passage is to reiterate over and over that it is never over. I have proof! I am proof! So as I sit here drinking my Colombian coffee with cinnamon creamer, I'd like to give a short synopsis of who I am. I'm Batman....... ok ok I’m not Batman, I'm simply Tamir. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio in OTR ( Over the Rhine). Yes it’s a tough neighborhood, but I survived! I have three beautiful babies, Ameenah (13), Shauntez (12), and Amaya (8). I actually made it to college but couldn't finish because......ok for the sake of being rude let's just say that my kids needed me.
Now let's fast forward 10 years to the day I became homeless. How you ask? Well my friends, that’s a different story for a different time. However, when I became homeless I had nothing but the clothes on my back. No I.D., no social security card, and no birth certificate. It was like I didn't exist. I remember vividly my first night sleeping in below zero weather. It broke me. I sat up wondering how a person like me could end up like this. I cried and I cried and I am not afraid to say it. However after I cried, the fight came into my soul. You see, we are instilled with a primal sense of survival. However it must be brought out of us by something motivational. My motivation was my babies. However I knew I couldn't do it alone. I knew that I would need help. So I got in touch with a very good friend of mine (and yes I call her mama), Gail Marlow. She immediately put a plan in action for me and called another good friend of mine Lynette Colosimo ( and yes I call her mama as well) who met with me and told me to look at what I’m going through as an adventure. So I Let go of my pride and went to a shelter which was the first step.
Now a lot of people who have never been homeless don't know how awful it can be to sleep in a shelter. You have to sleep in the same room as alcoholics, drug addicts, people with mental illnesses, and worst of all, people who don’t bathe. I knew after plenty of talks with my two mama's that I would endure this because I was on a mission to exist again. In Cincinnati it is extremely hard to get an I.D., but every morning I got up and my mind was set. So after 2 weeks of mama Lynette running me around and reassuring me that I would succeed, I finally accomplished my task of obtaining my I.D. and I cried again. However, at this point I had started to feel comfortable with being homeless. I knew where I could eat, sleep, and shower for free. This rendered me in a stagnant stasis that have most people think that being homeless is ok. But staying in touch with mama Gail motivated me and that feeling of comfort faded and I went back to work.
Most of the homeless people in Cincinnati would go to the public library to stay warm during the frigid temperatures. But while they were there they got on the computers and played video games or hopped on Facebook. But not me. I spent 6 hours a day putting in job applications and signing up for career services. Until finally I found a job and yes you guessed it…lol…I cried again. So I worked as much as I could and I saved as much as I could knowing the shelter was closing soon for the season and by the grace of god I found an apartment one day before the cold shelter closed and I cried tears of joy.
The 4 months I spent homeless taught me five crucial things. 1.) Don’t have too much pride to ask for help. If I didn’t, I would of never obtained the help from my two beautiful mamas. 2.) If you get comfortable in any situation you can become stagnant which stops progress. 3.) Homelessness doesn’t have a preference. Anybody can be homeless tomorrow. 4.) When the storm comes (and it will), be humble and obsess with ways to get through it. 5.) It’s never over as long as you have breath in your body! It’s never over!
As I discovered each one of these principles I was obsessed with finding a way to share these with anyone who would listen. I wanted to be a beacon of light to those who were discouraged and down on their luck. I wanted to share with the world that no matter your situation, IT’S NOT OVER!!!! However, I didn’t have the tools or the platform to do so and it saddened me to have the ability to motivate. But as always, God had a plan for me.
Now fast forward 10 months to when I got laid off from my place of employment. I had no fear or trepidation. I knew somehow because of what I’ve learned and the help that I’ve acquired I would survive. So once again, I obsessed myself with ways to supplement my income. In which I came across a temp service. I was applying for a labor job. But when we started talking, I gave him my testimony about being homeless. After he listened to me he said Batman....ok he didn’t say Batman. He said "Tamir, I think I have the perfect job for you." At this juncture I was offered a job in which I would be doing intake at the same homeless shelter I resided in. And yes, you guessed it…I cried again (I’m such a big baby). I had made the transition from being homeless to working for the homeless. I finally had a platform to share my story and motivate, needless to say I was elated.
So I guess the moral of the story is this: It’s not over and it’s never over. Hard work and perseverance will make us achieve the unthinkable. There is nothing special about me. We are the same people. Not only do I start my job at the cold shelter on the 15th of December, but I’ve also signed up for spring classes to further my education in psychology and sociology so I can help even more and I can’t wait!!!! Just know…I love you all and I love to help! Sincerely Yours, Batman.......ok ok ok, Tamir Newton