[Serious] Redditors who used to be homeless, are you no longer homeless because of luck or working hard to improve your life?

I was homeless for about 6 months when I was 18. No, it wasnt because I ran away from my parents, its because I was in foster care when I turned 18. Long story short, I went to college, made some really stupid decisions, and got kicked out of university housing. Couldn't go back to my foster home as I was over 18 and my real parents was absolutely not an option (hence me being in foster care).

I slept in the woods for a little while but when it started to get cold I had to come closer to town. I stayed in the homeless shelter a lot. It really sucked, there were some nice people there but some of them were just absolutely god awful. It was hard to get good sleep. About 4 months in I got my first job ever at McDonalds. Honestly that job was a bit of luck, as there were actually several applicants, turns out they just liked my personality. I worked very hard there, 40 hours a week every week.

After two months at work (6 months homelessness) I was able to get a spot in a halfway house, which was also a stroke of luck, as 1. I had to enroll in an outpatient drug rehab program to be considered (which I needed to do anyway) and 2. As with my job, there were multiple people applying for the spot I think about 6. I was lucky I was young, as the other applicants were people with long criminal histories who had been in and out of several rehabs. The guy who ran the place told me the reason he chose me is because I was so young, and he thought I had a better chance to do well than the other guys. While a marked improvement from the homeless shelter, the halfway house was pretty shitty too. At least I was only sharing a room with one person now instead of 5, and a bathroom with 7 people instead of 30. The other guys in the halfway house all had bad attitudes, save one, he helped me out a lot. He had a car, but he had to leave for work before I was even woke up. I had to walk a mile and a half every morning to catch the bus to work, but he would pick me up from work most days. He took me to the food bank every week, which helped save me a lot of money.

After two months at the halfway house, I came across the greatest stroke of luck yet. One of my friends from high school contacted me out of the blue on facebook (halfway house had a computer-still didnt own anything at this point) saying he had moved to where I was and asked how I was doing. I told him what was up and he said he was living in an apartment that had a big study that he would be willing to rent to me for $200 a month, all utilities included. What's more, this apartment was a half mile from McDonalds, so I didn't have to take the bus to work or buy a car.

It took me a year and some change to complete all the requirements for me to return to university. I graduated with a degree in chemistry and am employed, engaged, and paying all of my bills no problem. It was a lot of hard work, but it was also a lot of luck.

/r/AskReddit Thread