Tag Archives: homeless

State of my UNION

Dear Tim Scott,

Great job. Not! Your rebuttal was full of empty words, increased divisiveness between the American people, a disgrace to our black ancestors who blood and sweat built this country lastly I wouldn’t be surprised if you lost the vote and support of every black man and women whom you once inspired; now you’ve been a black sell out for the falsehood of a partisan lie.

Do you know what it’s like to be poor? Do you know what it’s like to be on food stamps, living on disability, and begging for a opportunity to make it out the hood as a black transgender (FTM) man? Do you know my pain? Do you know what it’s like waiting in a state building for your food stamps renewal to go through? or Medicaid? or Medicare? Try waiting for 3 hours on a good day with kids screaming and crying lines out the door. Poverty looks great, huh!

Why hinder President Biden?

Let me tell you and America my story. Raised in foster care. Paid my way through college with loans and scholarships. Hit by a car. Worked years as a barista at Starbucks (are you a vanilla latte-guy?). I have bipolar disorder with anxiety, depression and psychosis. My medication costs more than 3k a month. In yet I studied hard and went to school. With a foster family who loved me on condition. I attempted suicide after the accident and in a mixed episode state my foster parents said they could give me a sleeping bag but I could not come home. I lived on the beach. I showered in the ocean. I was dirty. I stinked. I was poor. To this day without my mentor mommy I would not be able to eat healthy and lose weight if she didn’t give me money for food. I only get 158$ a month for food stamps.My rent is almost 300$ and my disability is 700$. Don’t forget bills! We need the Biden package. People like me! I worked and worked at a restaurant so I could get a free meal. Eventually I joined a program called Continuum of Care, received medicaid, disability, found public housing (still there) and am living with chronic pain from a body that never healed correctly after being hit by a car while riding a bike from work in the rain at night because a white cop gave me an order, threatened me and I obeyed. Because of my obedience I was hit and because of my obedience the cop blamed me for the accident. No parents. Just a mentor who is my mommy. A praying God mother. And Continuum of Care.

Because of Continuum I have a home, treatment, insurance, and income. Continuum exists because of people like President Biden and Vice President Harris.

I am now applying for a msw program so I can start a real life and a family. Hopefully find a wife. I dream of starting a program where youth in foster care can age out go to college out of state and have a home to come to, earn a driver’s license, and mentor high school foster youth and have successful and powerful internships in the state of CT; so I can work on breaking the inner city negative poverty mindset. It’s no fun to make it out alone. I want a team!

President Biden, package yes, is pricey. I know. Work with him. We as America need both parties. Being progressive for me doesn’t mean being democrat it means continually pressing towards a goal for the better good of mankind.

Let’s stop knocking each other down and let’s start building one another up. If Jesus were to see what America has come to be he’d be disappointed. Love one another as you love yourself. Question,have you ever spoken to a transgender person and asked our story? What’s it like coming out? What’s it like going through another puberty? Continually asserting your pronouns and being afraid to use the bathrooms. Afraid to go to church. I came out to my church and there was a prayer circle around me to change. Some people treated me like a disease and pastors who were my aunts never answered my phone calls. My family disowned me twice.

Lastly! I think you should go to Oakland Cali. With sweatpants, hoodie and Jordans. Go to a bodega buy a Pepsi (you guys still boycotting Coke?)and see how the police treat you. They won’t see Senator Tim Scott..They will see a black man! I live in New Haven Connecticut and they will see a black man you will be stopped and asked questions if you’re lucky and harrassed. Not everyone in America is racist. But America was built on racism, genocide, greed, hate and lust. Don’t be blind to the truth for the sake of anyone and/or political party. Open your eyes! America sees you!


Domenia Zih

How I met God, in a homeless man!

I was just fired from my job two days ago. I still don’t have a job. I’m living off of 300$ and trying to budget. I’ve cried, I’ve prayed and now I have to take action. So, are you wondering why I was fired? I was fired because as my boss put “its business.”

I’m a barista, and as a barista you’re expected to fast and efficient. I’m a barista with a secret. That’s not so much a secret. I have a mental illness. I just started this job, I was three days on the job, and, we hit a busy day. That one day I started a new medication and I wasn’t fast enough. It’s the second time that I’ve felt handicap or disabled.

I explained to him that I needed this job, to pay for my insurance, to pay for medication. “I know, but its business.” I didn’t matter, what I could do for him mattered. The effort I put, the early hours, the job I had quit and one I didn’t take for this one job, it all didn’t matter. “Its business.”

I felt angry with my self, angry with God. I felt misunderstood, and concerned. Because now I’m choosing between my health and food. I shop at this health food market, and there is this man that sits outside, and ask for help to feed him. He’s homeless. I saw this as a moment to give back to God, even though I was hurting, and my life was uncertain.

Me: Can I get you something.

Scooter: A Chicken, from inside the store. A prayer, and conversation.

I assumed that he was a beggar, and probably on drugs. I judge. Then I remembered I was homeless seven months ago, when my foster parents kicked me out. I had nowhere to go. No one to feed me. Nothing! I was no different from Scooter. No one even stopped to get to know his name. He has two dogs with him, friendly dogs. A woman offered to feed them but not him. When he said, a chicken that cost me 8.11$ could feed them both. He also wanted a prayer, and conversation. Not money, he wasn’t on drugs. He wasn’t picky.

That was the best 8.11$ I’ve ever spent. I prayed ever since I heard a lecture and asked God, to send me moments where I could be a blessing and do the work he commanded. I didn’t do this for sympathy or for praise; I’ve just realized that there are a lot of homeless people where, if you can’t donate food, money; a prayer and conversation will be just as good. Scooter is jobless, so am I. He has a heart, and a soul. He matters.

I thought I lost everything. I’ve put my anxiety out there, and am not sure how I can continue to afford my basic needs. All because I have an illness, and a man thought making money was more important. God still gave me enough to share with someone else, to do something greater than myself, and I wanted to tell Scooter that there is good out there and a path is there for him. More than anything, God loves Him. All I said was God Bless you, after our brief conversation.

Then when I walked away, and looked back he was Gone! There was no way he could have walked that fast. I believe he was my angel to meet, and gave me so much hope and inspiration. I have faith, that God will provide in my time of need, another job will come. I just have to remain faithful, and do my earthly duties. I have three job interviews next week, and I will walk and talk with confidence and pray that the one that’s meant for me, God will open the doors for me. I’ve been blessed with a home, a family and so far mental health treatment. I’ll make it, because God is with me, and will never let me or your fall. I believe that when I talked to Scooted, and gave him the chicken it was a spiritual encounter and I met God in human form. I’m not sure how to explain it. Scooter was my angel and divine encounter. Like the woman in the bible who washed Jesus’s feet with her hair. I was able to feed one of his messengers; and the message was “God be with you!”

-Domenia Dickey



Starbucks, and why I quit.

Starbucks.jpegSo, everyone knows that I have a mental illness. I’m not quiet about it, because I want to help break the stigma and increase awareness. I’ve always questioned who should know and how in depth should I be? A question those with mental illness have questioned when entering a new relationship and even starting a new job.

Everyone knew I worked for Starbucks. I loved my job and I miss the joy that I did experience while working; the friendships I made, the connections that were made were astonishing. I enjoyed listening to people and providing them great customer service. My favorite part was being able to serve someone the best cup of coffee and to hear a customer respond saying “this made my day.” Comments such as that made me feel good, and made me feel as though I was contributing to this world in a unique way.

Starbucks, has this rule that when you are going to miss more than 3 days of work you have to report it to Sedgwick. Sedgwick requires that you tell them before you leave, and the date you expect to return. As an individual with a mental illness, you never know when you’re going to have a psychotic episode, manic episode a depressive episode. It’s unrealistic to say I’m going to check in today and be out in a week. When in reality, sometimes your sent directly from a therapist office, from your home and you’re not in the best condition to make a healthy decision. I had been written up 3 times for this.

My manager claimed I was unreliable and inconsistent. When in reality I wasn’t! An absence for a mental illness doesn’t make someone unreliable and inconsistent. My friends and readers with a mental illness, do not allow anyone, not even your boss make you feel as though you are less than a person and incompetent. I had to remind my manager of the many time she has called me to come in early, leave later, come in on days I’ve asked to have off. She and Starbucks has forgotten the time and energy I slaved, to be paid 9.69 an hour. I was working 30 hours a week, neglecting school and my responsibilities in fear that I would lose my job with corporate America.

Starbucks, talks about what they offer their employees medical insurance (they cut out mental health,though). You have to pay extra for dental and vision, and co-pays are about 40$ a visit. If you work for 9.69  hour and need to see a doctor often with only one job, you just spent your entire paycheck for corporate America. Starbucks talk about sending employees to college, you only get one option for colleges, which is ASU; you have to work about 30 hours a week to obtain this privilege. It’s almost impossible if you’re working 30 hours to take full time classes, and attend to personal matters. Trust me, I tried.

At the beginning it was a dream come true, and as a result I was open with my manager (Jennifer B.) and district manager (Lulie T.) about my illness. And in the beginning they were great about understanding it. At least I thought that. I didn’t think it would be used against me. My manager once suggested to me that I quite school, work almost full time in CT (very expensive state to live in) and get on state assistance programs; just to work at a job that made me fearful of getting fired because of an illness I couldn’t control.

We would meet and she would often say “Mia, this is a business this is corporate and they don’t care.” She said to me “I’m not losing my job over you, and if that means you quitting and getting fired then I will do that.” She would tell me, remember “I don’t need you here, you’re here because I say so.” I reached out for help, to have accommodations but that was worse. I often was written up. The individual responsible for accommodations forced me to quit. They said “if you quit you can be rehired, if a store wants you.”

I had previously been out of work because I was in a psychiatric hospital for a week, and before I left Starbucks, I told my boss “you and this job, are making me more mentally ill than what I am, and are making me suicidal.” I was crying. She walked away and said “that’s not my problem, work your shift then call Sedgwick and take leave.” Corporate America doesn’t really care, they just want money, at the expense of their employees health and even the children they have to take care of. I sent in my letter to Sedgwick concerning my inability to return to work, but I also told them that I was homeless. I was told “no problem, you can stay on your leave.” My boss, district manage, and partner services said “then quit!” I was homeless and told to “quit.”

This is the truth behind corporate America and the employees they higher. We slave for long hours, making a little bit of money, and are treated like we are dirt. I’ve heard my manager tell me that her shifts supervisors needed to be fired. She didn’t care about firing people. It wasn’t her problem. As she always said, “there are people begging for your position, and I don’t need you. remember that. you can get fired as quickly as you were hired. you’re lucky to have this job.” but she consistently said, “i’m quitting, this job because it isn’t worth it, I’ve had better jobs and a better degree.” This is the truth! So every time you buy a coffee, know the stress and pain esp. those with health and mental health illnesses are putting in, to serve you that perfect cup of coffee.

My district manager lied on me a week before I became homeless. I told her 30 mins before my shift, however I told my manager and shift supervisor a day ahead that I was not working with a specific shift supervisor, because he was awful. My district manager said, “if it’s going to make you mentally sick, then go home and you don’t have to work” I asked twice and said “Are you sure? I will work my shift if you cannot find coverage, I will.” She called the store with the news of “I found coverage you’re ok.” The next day I was written up with a final warning, basically to never call out again. That next day my boss said “I’m tired of your SHIT” I just cried and I had to return to work and say “Hi, welcome to Starbucks”

My doctor and psychiatrist had told me to leave my job, and I told them this was the only job I had. What I didn’t realize was that, this job, my manager, and my district manager were making me mentally sick. I went home crying, went to work with anxiety. I feared my job. I would go into different Starbucks and fear the environment. Then I remembered how much I love serving people, making that perfect cup of coffee and making friendships. I enjoyed the employees I worked with. We even hung out after work. We kept each other going. We laughed when we wanted to cry, and vented to each other about our concerns and fears.

I was forced to quit me job, or else I would have been fired. I asked “you would fire someone who is homeless, instead of giving me a leave of absence?” I was told “Mia, it’s a business, and I’m not losing my job over anyone.” So I quit. I cried, then felt a sense of peace. I love Starbucks coffee, and would love to work for them again,the discount was great, I loved the customers and my co-workers. I don’t miss the mental abuse and how I was taken advantage of. My store, my manager, and district manager was making me so sick, so sick that I thought death was an option. I felt stuck! But the truth is I needed a job. I have no money now, I’m poor (well I have a savings account-it’s drying out though), no job; because it was a “business” it didn’t matter. I have no health insurance, no way to afford my medication and no mental health support. It doesn’t matter though because it’s a “business.” I still buy their coffee, it’s good!

I miss my job, and I would love to try it again. I would love to apply again and work again. In spite of my bosses words, and and district manager, they’re great people. I try to see the good in all the bad situations. I enjoyed being on store and customer support, my manager even said many time “Mia, you’ve improve and I see your work ethics improving, and I’m glad I hired you” This is the Jennifer I miss! This is the Jennifer who care. This is the Jennifer who hired me. I honestly believe she changed because of the demands and the response from corporate. She’s even told me once that “It’s not me, it’s corporate; it’s not coming from me, this is all corporate.” I feel like her hands were tied and she was forced to look like the bad guy. I’m not sure, maybe we got to close, boundaries were crossed. All I know is I told her and will still tell her, “Jenn, I’ve got your back.”

This blog post may probably destroy every opportunity to work for Starbucks again. However, the truth needs to be told. I’m just an disposable employee! I’m not important to my manager and district manager, and I guess to corporate. Do I really matter? Did I ever matter?

By the way, the next time you want to argue about increasing minimum wage, think about the hard work employees put into serving every customer with a smile and offering them the best unforgettable service.

This is my truth. I’m still without a job, and a home, but, I’ve never been happier. I do miss my discount, but I’ll forever be a customer. I know quality coffee when I see it. Starbucks, is good! Better than Dunkin, and they care about their customers!

So now you know, why I quit Starbucks.

  • To Jennifer B, if you read this “I still have you back, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to work for and with you.”

Domenia Dickey- partner id 1996175.


Thanksgiving and foster care

There was a time when I was young in foster care when I switched from different homes, group homes, and foster homes and all I had were two trash bags and a teddy bear. I clearly remember laying on a bed and wishing it was mine forever. I remember be counted as homeless and sent to live in a shelter with grown boys 45mins away from my home city. I was 11 years old. I remember I went a half a winter without a coat. I had a sweatshirt until my aunt gave me a coat. I cried. To this day I don’t think she knows how grateful I am for that coat.

I remember waiting for my mom to visit and she never showed up. I remember late nights when  my grandma would hold me and tell me it’s okay, grandma is here. I remember crying because my mother either didn’t show up or was late for court dates, family sessions- you name it.

I know what it’s like to have family members call you a liar, being bullied by cousins and feeling alone. I remember writing in my diary hoping to find the perfect parents so my twin and I could live together one more time. I wrote list of people I prayed that God would tell them to be my foster mom or dad.

I remember living in group homes and getting only weekend visits with my grandma and aunts. I know what it’s like to only have enough clothes for the week, using toilet paper as a maxi pad, one tooth brush, switching social workers every day, trying to comb my “thick” hair, spending my 13th birthday in a psych ward, I tried to kill myself because I felt so alone, granted visits twice a month with my twin, hardly seeing my family, my teddy bear became that home for me. I remember being sexually abused by the age of 6, and tortured by my twin. I know what it’s like to see your mom get beat have her life threatened.  I know what it’s like to have a gun pointed to your head and forced to give a stranger oral sex and I know what it’s like to be poor and having only Kool-Aid and spaghetti to eat for dinner.

The last true hug I received from my mom, I was in first grade and she honestly said that I love you.

This is the first thanksgiving where I have a job, apartment, my same teddy bear, attend college, a computer and a family I created over the years; I have more than three coats, I have clothes that I bought with my own money, my family and I are connected and trying to reach out to one another. I’m thankful for my journey and my continue success.

It’s the little things that makes me happy. I didn’t get to see my twin this holiday, but I know he feels my love and my energy.

Happy Thanksgiving