REFUGEES USA: Forced Into Homelessness

This is the first-person account from the wife of an incarcerated registered citizen. Names are changed and locations other than Nebraska are concealed to protect the identity of this family. The story appears here as it was related to NebraskaFACTS, with minimal editing or other changes. We relate this story during a week in which we give thanks for, among other things, the freedoms we are supposed to enjoy in this nation. When you give thanks this week for being with your loved ones, stop for just a brief moment and say a prayer for David, his wife and his 2-year-old daughter. Ponder what their country has done to them.

PART II: Where to Live? 

Copyright © 2014 Nebraskans Unafraid :: All rights reserved
We wound up moving to another seedy pay-by-the week motel in an unsafe industrial area, near about five strip clubs. We stayed there for a couple months, and when our things kept getting stolen, we managed to find another apartment. That apartment was actually pretty good.  Although it was in a gang neighborhood, we didn’t have too many problems there.

Although when we were searching for apartments, we found another one that was perfect, the landlord was super awesome about the whole situation, and we would’ve probably gotten that apartment, but it was a duplex, and the tenant on the other side had lived there for a while, so the landlord wanted us to tell her about David’s situation, just so she was aware.

When David explained to her that it was consensual sex with his underage girlfriend (the story he chooses, as it sounds slightly better than threesome when discussing such a personal issue with a complete stranger.)  She was pretty closed off, asked David for his DOC #, and very rudely said, “well I’m gonna look you up, and it better match up with what you’re telling me.”

We didn’t rent that apartment, but the one we did rent was a four-plex and the landlord made David go to each door and explain again.  One wasn’t home, one was pretty nonchalant about it, and the third was kind of nervous, but didn’t seem super worried, and we had no problems when we lived there.

My husband has suffered from chemical dependency issues for his entire life, and his addiction has never been treated. His PO always was more interested in getting him treated for his SO status, not in addressing the drug problem. The addiction is not the result of the registry, but being on the registry does not help someone with chemical dependency.

In addition, David has chronic back pain. He found that smoking weed eased his pain – not an excuse, just the reality. Because good medical care does not exist in prison, his addiction issues never have been addressed. They always seemed to take a backseat to the SO issues. David smoked weed while on parole and failed to show up for an appointment with his parole officer. Frightened that he would be sent back to prison to serve the nine months remaining on his sentence, he fled to another state, where one of his cousins lived.

This was just 10 days before we were supposed to get married.

Soon I made plans to join David. While I was packing up some things in my apartment, I found paperwork from David’s grandma that she had somehow acquired. It was paperwork from David’s “victim” with contradicting statements.  I had a friend come to pick me up to take one of our cats to the shelter, and when we came back, the landlord had thrown all of those papers out and was in the process of throwing everything else left in the trash, because I was 10 minutes later than she expected me.

The night I got to his cousin’s house, one of her friends was told that David was an SO, so we were nervous from that point on that they would turn him in.  We originally had a deal for the amount of rent, but the longer we stayed there, the more it went up, and we kept somehow paying it because we had nowhere else to go. 

One morning, David woke up and reached in his jeans pocket to get his weed, and instead pulled out a piece of paper with this written on it: “Smoke this in prison, bitch.” The weed had been stolen.  We left the next day, on a bus back to the state where he was originally incarcerated. We had no other choice but to prevail upon family members there.

TOMORROW: Part III — On the Run

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