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ANGEL'S PLACE

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History of Angel's Place

History of Angel's Place

  A TIMELINE OF ANGEL'S PLACE!
 
June, 1998: Angel is 19 years old and homeless. After having drifted through overnight shelters, crashpads, motels, and other random places for quite a while, hung out with a lot of very kind but self-destructive people, and decided she'd had enough, Angel is living outdoors in Naperville, IL. Naperville is a quaint suburb Angel chose because of it's Riverwalk. On her 19th birthday someone had brought her to the Riverwalk to feed the ducks and eat chocolate bars. Angel liked it so much that she decided to live there... right smack in the middle of the Riverwalk! (It didn't go so well. Although beautiful, Naperville is not known for it's resources for the homeless.)
         In Naperville Angel befriends the Riverrats, kids who have homes and money but look sort of homeless. The Riverrats help Angel by being her friend, talking to her, and sneakily buying her McDonald's.
       At the suggestion of the Riverrats, Angel goes to a mission-shelter in Aurora. In this shelter, people must stay indoors all day studying the Bible and doing chores. Angel lasts three days there before escaping.
      Angel hears that there is a youth shelter in Wheaton. On a Sunday night she gets off the Metra train in Wheaton and finds... nobody! (The youth shelter turns out to be a transitional shelter, not an emergency shelter. The next day Angel fills out an application for the transitional shelter.. but will have to survive on her own for a little longer!)
       Angel lives outdoors for a while longer with Lenny, an old, kind hobo who always wears a yellow flannel shirt. He is the one who gives her the name "Angel", because good things always seem to happen when she's around! (For instance, Lenny finds a pack of cigarettes in the park!)
 
July, 1998: Angel moves into the transitional shelter, which is inside an awesome old house. Her case worker helps her get a job at a fast food place that specializes in cube-shaped icecream.
 
August, 1998: Now that Angel doesn't have to worry about what she'll eat or where she'll sleep anymore, she finds herself with lots of spare time on her hands! Angel wanders into Women's Wisdom, a free art class for women, which is run by a branch of the People's Resource Center. The women there are kind and loving, and Angel enjoys doing arts and crafts with them every Tuesday afternoon. Angel doesn't know how to drive, so she goes there on her bike, rain or shine!
 
September, 1998: After reading in a magazine about someone who started their own 'zine, Angel decides to make one of her own. She chooses the title "Angel's Place" because it will be a place for her writing and artwork, and because she's always wanted a place of her own. One of Angel's houseparents at the shelter, Chris, gives Angel an old typewriter.  Angel cuts sheets of notebook paper in half, and types up a few articles off the top of her head. She illustrates them with a black pen. The staff in the office of Wheaton Youth Outreach let Angel use the Xerox machine to make copies of her 'zine. Angel sells her 'zine to staff at the shelter and the office, and to people at Women's Wisdom. She gives the other homeless teenagers free copies though.
 
March, 1999: Angel suddenly and without warning (because this is the way she did things at age 19) moves out of the shelter and into an apartment with her Big Brother and his girlfriend and her son. Angel's life becomes hectic as the care of the toddler falls to her, while her brother and his girlfriend live their chaotic lives. Plus, Angel doesn't have access to a Xerox machine any more, at least not for free. "Angel's Place" takes a rest.
 
May, 1999: Angel's brother's girlfriend buys Angel a kitten for her 20th birthday. Angel names the kitten Sammy, but later changes it to Sammy-Joe, because she's picked up the habit of saying "jo'" a lot. As in, "Hey, where's Sammy, jo'?"  Several weeks later, Angel's chaotic family is on the verge of getting evicted, and Angel's brother's girlfriend wants to take Sammy-Joe to the pound. Angel runs away with the kitten in her backpack, and stows him away at a kennel.
 
June, 1999: People from Women's Wisdom arrange to take Sammy-Joe into their homes temporarily, and help arrange for Angel to move into an emergency shelter.  Angel begins working full-time at a Kinder-Care.
 
July, 1999: Angel moves into her own studio apartment in Wheaton. Sammy-Joe moves back in with her. He is much bigger and bites now. Angel has a new typewriter she won in a writing contest. To fill up some spare time (because she has no TV reception up there) Angel resurrects "Angel's Place". The new version is on full sheets instead of half-sheets, and the covers are painted. The pages are tied together with bits of string.
 
August, 1999: Two of Angel's brothers often stay with Angel. Angel enjoys the company. "Angel's Place" enjoys some fame, as members of Women's Wisdom buy copies and share them with friends and family members.
 
September, 1999: Angel's brothers start inviting the entire homeless population of DuPage County to stay in Angel's apartment. Two may be company and three may be a crowd, but in a studio apartment, four or more is chaos! In the midst of the chaos and anxiety surrounding Angel's life, "Angel's Place" fades away.
 
December, 1999: The world is scheduled to end in January. Angel makes no plans for the future.
 
January, 2000: The world is still here. Oops.
 
February, 2000: Angel gets evicted from her apartment. This is due in part to the chaos brought by her brothers and friends, and in part by a landlord who breaks lots of landlord laws. For instance, the law that says you have to knock before you walk into a tenent's apartment. Angel at the last minute is invited by her parents to stay with them. She turns down the invitation, but at the last minute changes her mind so she can keep Sammy-Joe with her.
 
March, 2000: Angel gets a new job at a better day-care. Angel's parents have a computer, and Angel uses Publisher to create new issues of "Angel's Place". They also have a stapler. Things are great. "Angel's Place" becomes even more well-known when Angel's "big brother" who is in jail at the time, shares it with fellow inmates. The inmates send poetry for Angel to print in her 'zine. Angel also uses the Internet to publicize her 'zine, and gets a few subscribers.
 
September, 2000: Angel hears about Americorps. She investigates their website, and thinks about joining. She applies, and gets accepted to, an Americorps program in Colorado. Angel hasn't been able to find an affordable apartment in Illinois, and thinks this will be a great chance for her to get a new start in a new state, live on her own, get job experience, and get a college scholarship.
 
October, 2000: Since the town Angel is moving too has very little public transportation, Angel becomes determined to try to learn to drive. This is something she was told as a kid, by a doctor, that she'd never be able to do because of her learning disablities.
 
December, 2000: Angel gets her driver's license. Clear the roads!
 
January, 2001: Angel moves to Colorado. She lives with a roommate, the roommate's 4-year-old son, and a 3-legged cat named Boo. Sammy-Joe stays behind in Illinois with Angel's parents. Angel talks to him on the phone each night. Angel gets an Americorps placement helping in a therapeutic learning center for children with special needs, including behavior disorders. Many are in foster care.
 
May, 2001: Angel puts out issues of "Angel's Place" and tries to get doctors' offices to keep them in their waiting rooms. It doesn't go well. Angel's roommate, an aspiring writer, contributes to the 'zine.
 
September, 2001: Angel's roommate works with teenagers in juvenile detention centers. Angel creates special paint free, staple-free copies of "Angel's Place" for her roommate to smuggle to some of the kids. "Angel's Place" has a crossword puzzle in one issue, which is dedicated to one of the kids, Matthew.
 
December, 2001: AmeriCorps ends. Angel moves back to Illinois. Unable to find an apartment, she stays with her parents again.
 
February, 2002: Angel gets a job in a special education school. Angel shares "Angel's Place" with her new co-workers. She gives them free copies.
 
July, 2002: Still impulsive as ever, Angel moves out of her parent's house and stays with her big brother. Chaos happens. "Angel's Place" fades away once again, this time seemingly forever!
 
August  - November, 2002: Still chaos.
 
December, 2002: Angel goes to visit her parents, and decides to stay.a while... until she can find an affordable place to live on her own, where she can bring Sammy-Joe.
 
April, 2003: Angel writes And Wake Me With the Morning Light, which she self-publishes. Staff at Hope Center, a day center for the homeless and nearly-homeless, help Angel publicize her book. Many buy it.
 
August, 2003: And Wake Me With the Morning Light makes it onto the shelves of the Schaumburg Township Library.
 
September, 2003 - April, 2004: Nothing much worth noting happens.
 
May, 2004: In the school where Angel is a teacher's aide, a substitute teacher comes to the classroom who is the same age as Angel. Angel has a mid-life crisis and realizes she's getting pretty old and isn't doing much in life. Angel decides to quit her job in order to go to school full-time. (Coincedentally, the child Angel is working with as a 1:1 aide is moving to a new town and will not be with Angel anymore anyway.)
 
September, 2004: Angel starts community college full-time.
 
October 2004 - June 2005: Nothing much happens.
 
July, 2005: Angel gets the idea to start an online version of "Angel's Place". Begins working on the August issue.
 
October, 2005: When Angel becomes overloaded with several part-time jobs, full-time school, and other activities, the upkeep of three different websites becomes too much. "Angel's Place Zine" falls by the wayside.
 
February, 2006: Angel decides to merge the Zine with her regular homepage. Now readers can find everything they enjoyed about the zine, along with the fun of the homepage!

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