Overcoming Homelessness - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Overcoming Homelessness

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Moving from Tennessee to North Dakota can be a big step in someone's life--especially when you have two-hundred dollars in your pocket and no employment or housing lined up when you reach your destination.

Six months ago, that was one man's reality.

And that reality included becoming homeless in our state.

Here's a look at his travels, his travails, and his ultimate success in finding a job, and a place to live.

(Michael, Bowlin, Minot Resident)"It's been an adventure all the way around."

Michael Bowlin started his journey in August of 2013.

His destination: Minot.

But path that he traveled to get to the Magic City was paved with uncertainty.

(Michael Bowlin, Minot Resident)"I came up and stayed in my car for eight weeks. Taking a shower was the biggest thing, you know. I traveled to New Town, Williston, looking for work."

Bowlin stayed on the move during the daytime looking for a job, but the struggle to find housing left him running in place.

(Michael Bowlin, Minot Resident)"It was frustrating. The first four weeks, I spent the day looking for work and I spent the evenings singing karaoke just to see people. And then I'd go sleep at the bowling alley. That's where I slept for two months."

Bowlin found himself making additional lifestyle changes, just to survive.

(Michael Bowlin, Minot Resident)"I got a big box of Vienna sausages and crackers and cheese on the days it wouldn't go bad because it was still warm out and I ate off of that and the soup kitchens until I went to work."

Once Bowlin started working, he was able to stay overnight on a co-worker's couch.

And at the end of the year, came a light at the end of the tunnel.

(Michael Bowlin, Minot Resident)"At Christmas, I went home and got my boy and I got an apartment on the 2nd of January."

Although Bowlin is no longer homeless, he hasn't forgotten about the barriers he had to cross to get to this point.

What he's gained from the journey is a sense of understanding.

(Michael Bowlin, Minot Resident)"Remember to love one another because that's what it's all about. I've met a lot of people that's a whole lot worse than me on feet, you know, that are walking, and I try to give them a lift and help them get a job. I've got one that's staying with me right now. We're all human."

In Minot, Kelli Volk, KX News."

Minot Homeless Coalition Director Mac McLeod says his agency is poised for another busy year - helping people like Michael who find themselves struggling to find places to live in the area.

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