Monday, January 2, 2017

I Wandered LA, Homeless

The ability to lay down is such an amazing feeling.  I’ve been inside for a week now.  A week ago, I didn’t have a home.  I wandered and I wandered and I wandered.  According to the state, I was homeless.  So, it feels good to lay down safely and not sleep sitting up.

All over Los Angeles.  I can show you LA, I can write you a poem about LA.  I had a few motel stays, some great, some good, and one horrible.  I mostly slept on the bus.  If you take the 460 from Downtown LA to Disneyland around 10:20pm it’s a good two hour trip.  Get off the bus, wait for 20 minutes and get back on around 12:15am and head back to Downtown LA, arrive around 2am.  Walk a few blocks, about 30minutes later either catch the 4, 20, 33, or 733 to Santa Monica for about an hour.  Get off, they changed the stops in Santa Monica so now I would walk a few blocks either to McDonalds and wait until the trains run at 4am or catch the next bus to downtown LA for about an hour. 

Next, hit the gym for a workout and shower.  This was pretty much my daily night and early am routine. 

Yes, I hardly slept.  I was chased a few times, only in Santa Monica.  Naturally in Santa Monica in the early am I walked like a beast, but was scarred as shit half the time.  I would laugh about it after I made it through the night, after-all I gotta stay happy!  No matter what you go through, stay happy.  There is always someone that is doing worse then you in life, so pick your head up and keep it pushing in the most positive way you can.  Life is worth living.

I worked out twice a day and showered twice a day at Planet Fitness.  Thank you for your cheap membership!!! 

Now let’s talk about the bathroom situation in Downtown LA.  There are none!  Okay there’s a few.  There is no bathroom access in all of the Starbucks in Downtown LA, with an exception of the Starbucks on 7th and Figueroa St.  Are you listening Travelers and Nomads, only on 7th and Figueroa in Downtownn LA.  This is also the only Starbucks where you can access the outlets to charge your whatevermabob. 

Where can you use the bathroom?  An obvious very important question when you don’t have a roof over your head.  The Los Angeles Public Library, Union Station, Starbucks on 7th and Figueroa, and Macys on 7th and Figueroa.  OR, you can use the Green Public bathrooms that are nastier than nasty, ewwwww don’t do it!   I did a few times, and my goodness.

The Starbucks on 5th and Spring had outlet access at one point, which they slowly reduced.  It started with outlet access at two tables.  Then one, then none.  The Starbucks Blockers came in and placed a cover on the outlets, and just like that they were gone. 

I had Starbucks almost every-day, coffee please.  Thank you.  Important to know which ones to go into for free coffee…  muhahahaaaaa

I lived everywhere and no where.  I slept in a Church, under the over pass a few times, mostly on the bus.  When I had the money I stayed at; The Desert Inn, The Royal Pagoda Motel, Spent 28 days at the Studio Lodge Hotel-Loved it!  I highly recommend Studio Lodge Hotel.  You can only stay there one week at a time or up to 28 days, then you have to checkout for 30 days.  Stayed at The Re Tan Hotel once, then attempted it again but the roaches drove me out and I couldn’t get my money back.  I was only checked in for one hour.  BLAH!

I went all over LA to Disneyland, to Santa Monica, to North Hollywood and all in between.  I took all the trains and buses, and only Ubered when it wasn’t on my dime.  I was Homeless, yet I still had the most memorable experience and fun then I’ve had my whole 33 years on this planet.  There are things in life one must go through and experience.  I learned patience, understanding, more love, compassion, and the desire to help more. 

I kept all my stuff in a trash bin at The Bins.  The Bins are located in what’s called, Skid Row on 5th and Town in Downtown LA.  The bins are free with a California ID.  I had access to my bin full of stuff at any-time as many times as I wanted from 8:30am-4:30pm, excluding Sundays.  I had to check in once a week.  If you don’t check-in and get your paper dated and marked in their books by Staff then you can’t access your bin for one week.  So yes, I checked in every week and accessed my bin every few days. 

I always had a backpack full of gym clothes, something to sleep in and a few outfits.  I lived this life for four months.  I took Vitamin C and B12 everyday and NEVER got sick!  Got a concussion from walking across the street eating a KFC biscuit, tripped and landed on my head.  Couldn’t walk the next day, blurry vision and all, Lol.   Would I do it again, yes.  Sometimes you have to go on your own journey no matter what anyone thinks or says about you.  You have to do you, not one Person on Earth will understand your journey, but YOU!  You have to experience what you know you need to experience.  I became homeless after getting my life threatened, getting my Camaro bashed in with bricks, pushed out by my last two employers for fighting for the right cause, dealt with ignorant racism (people who think its cool to say racist comments and just never want you to fit in nor be), and when I had my apartment it was so bad I spent the last month of it being out of it and sleeping in my car where I felt safe, I started with Vegas sleeping in the Wynn parking lot.

Shit happens.  Life happens.  It’s what you do next.  You can either keep it pushing or give up.  I chose to keep it pushing and start over, so I moved to LA where I took more pictures and more pictures to share with the world.  I capture what moves me.  I made sure when not working to try and get sleep where I could and TO DO WHAT MOVED ME.  So I captured, I made sure to write, hit the gym, read, listen to music that moved me, and went to the beach.  I didn’t look for love, a man, a boyfriend.  I did what I loved and it taught me to keep doing what I love.  If you love something do it.

My best conversations with were with fellow homeless People on the streets, at the beach, or on the bus.  Real conversations, nothing about celebrities, or whats on tv, or drama in peoples lives, NO!  We sat and talked and had real genuine conversations without a cell phone sitting between us and without one another constantly checking phones.  Real conversations.  

As women I see so many other women chasing men.  While living in Los Angeles I was told on so many occasions, “why don’t you just go get a boyfriend and just be with him so you have a place to live.”  I kept sleeping on buses.  Ef that, that’s the dumbest advice I was given.  I would rather sleep on a bus then pretend to be with someone or lay down with someone.  Ef that.  Thank you for the horrible advice, glad it made something funny to write about.

I worked as a Waitress for Déjà Vu briefly until they wanted me to dance on stage while cleaning, naw just a Waitress, the girls were rude anyway.  A Personal Assistant to a man who didn’t care for Black People and attempted to touch me, naw not me!  You got the wrong one!  I also worked Background for the television shows, and on one occasion in the Karaoke Club in Korea Town as a Hostess aka a Domi.  Yes, I even did that.  I did some interesting stuff and went everywhere.  I couldn’t take enough pictures.  This was my experience that so many people didn’t understand why I didn’t just go to my Mom or Dads house.  Because I’m not you, you can't always run to your parents.  There are things in life you have to go through alone and experience.  Yes, staying with parents sounds safe but that's not what I was suppose to do.  Would I have learned what I did and had the experiences I did, made the friends I did, saw what I saw, and experienced what I did?  I wouldn’t give up that experience for anything. 

Thank you to whoever smashed my Camaro in with bricks, thank you to Target for pushing me out and telling me it's your job or theirs, thank you to the women who insisted on making racist comments toward me at my next job, thank you for not allowing me to fit in and not feel at home, thank you to my ex boyfriend for making me completely scarred of You.  All of you helped me along my journey in becoming a more aware being.  Thank you for showing me exactly where I didn't need to be.  I appreciate you all, without you all I would still be living the same circle of a life that people call simply existing.

If you don't like your job, QUIT!  Walk away.  Your job is not who you are.  Find another one, better yet... create your own way.  When you do what you love and be authentic in who you are you find a different type of happiness.  A happiness you don't see on peoples faces as they live the same routine everyday.  Have the courage to change your life and do something different when it needs to be done.  I'm not saying go be homeless as I was for four months, I'm saying DO whatever it is that brings out the UNIQUENESS in YOU!  Do what brings passion into your heart, do what makes your eyes brighten more and more everyday, do what you love.

I went on a journey of faith and understanding.  Life is simple.  Life is exactly what you make it.  You are what you think.  You can do anything you want in this life.  You limit yourself, stop blaming people and take action over your own life.  Keep growing, keep learning, keep loving.  

I Love YOU,

Zulekha Williams


  1. Thanks for sharing! You have a sweet heart!

  2. Yes, I just want to encourage all who are homeless to never give up. Be where you want to be after-all I met many loving hearts who are very content in sleeping in tents. We all want different things in life and I only wish to encourage all to be who you want to be regardless of what anyone says about you or your life. You live your life everyday, YOU! I love you!