02/09/2015

WORD UP | #homelessincph



the end of Nov 14 - after several weeks of thinking about dropping out of school completely, i actually decided to apply for a BA Top-Up in Denmark again, respectively in Herning, where i had lived before, and in Copenhagen.

4th Jan 15 - signed up for the waiting lists for multiple dorms in CPH. my highest position was around 400.

April 15 - deadline for application assignments

1st Jul 15 - yay, i received the confirmation e-mail!

2nd week of Jul 15 - me and G started searching for a flat. we were prepared that it would be hard, but we'd think we'd manage. we set our budget to 3,000 DKK max.

3rd week of Jul 15 - cca 50 messages sent. no reply. we thought our message was just not nice enough. we worried, but didn't lose our hopes.

4th week of Jul 15 - cca 100 messages sent. a few decline-replies. we started worrying. i made some calls to Danish landlords, but all were a failure. we found out that there was the option of signing up for an emergency list for the dorms. my highest position was 100-something, lowest 4,000.

1st week of Aug 15 - me and G signed up for the emergency lists. the school was to start in a few weeks. we decided to start searching both separately and together to increase our chances. cca 200 messages sent. some replies, no invitations for viewing. membership in approximately 10 housing groups on Facebook. contacting the landlords immediately after the offer was posted. no results. our budget was at 3,500 DKK now. (with knowing we could not really afford it)

2nd week of Aug 15 - cca 250 messages sent. no results. we were willing to take anything. i raised my budget to 4,000 DKK, not knowing how i'd be able to pay such amount but hoping for finding a job in CPH asap.

3rd week of Aug 15 - the last week before the school start. messages, e-mails, phone calls. nothing. according to a fb group for new students at the school, approx. 1/3 of them didn't have a place to stay. a friend / former- / future classmate told me he got a dorm via the emergency list to which he signed up a month ago. i have been on the waiting list for 7 months by then.

23rd Aug 15 - i arrived to CPH without having any accommodation. i stayed at my friend's place.

24th Aug 15 - first day of school. 39 degrees of fever. G arrived at 6:30 AM, the school started at 9:30. sharing experience with being homeless as a form of small talk with new classmates. after the school was finished, we had to drag our multiple suitcases to an airbnb outside of the town. sleeping on a mattress in a living room with 2 random German girls. started seriously considering moving back to Herning.

25th Aug 15 - not focusing on school at all. extremely sore throat. looking at people on the streets, on the bus, everywhere, and feeling jealousy and envy of their 'homes'. airbnb sofa. creepy host. received an offer for a dorm, starting from 15th of November. thank you. where should i stay until then?

26th Aug 15 - day off school > sending messages and calling to landlords. called to the other dorm association and found out that the sign up date doesn't matter if you're on the emergency list, they pick it randomly. received an offer for a dorm by the sea, starting from 1st of Novemeber. where should i stay until then? went to see a beautiful flat in Amager by the sea, full of hope. 14,000 DKK, available for 2 people only. we got a fine for not having the right ticket on the way back. goodbye 750 DKK. wrote an extremely desperate e-mail to the school, saying that i think i'll drop out of school because i just cannot concentrate on anything while being homeless.

27th Aug 15 - stress levels beyond normal. the school administration replied. said that they'd have a temporary room for me in Valby, which is just outside of CPH, for 100 DKK a night. do i want it? yes! G also found a room in another suburban part.

1st Sep 15 - moving in. no more homelessness.
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this has been an issue in Copenhagen for so long.
it happens to everyone, to Danes, to people from the EU, to refugees.
it doesn't even matter how much money you have.
money is not the problem.
it's the lack of housing.

but no one gives a shit.
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during the whole time,
i knew i could afford staying in a hostel or in an airbnb for a little longer.
i knew i could always persuade some friends to host me.
i knew i could go back to Herning and live and study there instead.
i knew i could go back to CZ and stay at parents' place or just rent a flat in Prague.
i knew that my friends and family cared and were worried.
i knew i could always stay at school or in the library during the day.
i knew i could buy something to eat anytime.
i knew i had some money on my account.
BUT
i still felt like shit.
it was the hardest time of my life; and i really mean that.

and now,
imagine:
how does it have to feel to be really homeless?

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