When I launched Soul Kisses TV back in 2011 I had the privilege of connecting with the awesome writer, Tay Lang.  She wrote so many amazing articles for Soul Kisses TV and I was there when she made the decision to move to Atlanta to pursue her dreams.  It was like a slap in the face when she told me that she was homeless during one of my rants with my dissatisfaction with my  career at that moment.  Talk about perspective and being humbled at the same time.  Her journey has been a victorious one and I invite you to read about Tay Lang and how she is using her experience with homelessness to empower and inspire others.  Please take a look at the video to see what you are in store for:

Without telling us too much all at once, who is Tay Lang?

I am simply a humble, caring world-changer.

You currently thrive in Atlanta, what inspired your move to this city and what did you imagine your experience would bring?  In your ideal world, what did you expect to come from your move to Atlanta?

The inspiration to move to Atlanta came from a dream I believe God gave me. Never did I imagine in a million years that this would be my current home. I am also a writer and with Atlanta being “black Hollywood” I became excited to move here and follow my dreams as a writer/filmmaker. I expected to move here, network and do fun amazing independent films/plays on the side and nurture my love of the arts.

Reality can sometimes hit us hard, what was it like truly living in Atlanta for you?

After moving here my life was GREAT! Perfect day job working from home. My children were in a great school. Money flowing. Peace of mind. I was happy. Then 2 months after getting here my job laid off my entire department. I didn’t know what to do but going back home to Mississippi was not an option. I began looking for a job and eventually got a part-time job after over a month of unemployment. The part-time didn’t even equal up to half of what I was originally making. I started losing things such as phone, cable and got late on all of my bills. I was served eviction notice and was given one week to vacate my apartment. I kept praying about it and God kept telling me to WAIT. So I waited. The original date for my eviction would have been today January 28th 2014 but this was also the day Atlanta experienced the horrible snowstorm which shut the city down! I thank GOD for that snowstorm. I was stranded in my car for 13 hours while my children were stuck at school until after midnight. I thank God we were not put out in the snow. But reality still set in and 2 weeks later I was evicted and all of my belongings were stolen off the street including personal documents; birth certificates, my kids baby books and pictures. This was very devastating for me and the longest day of my life! I checked me and the boys into a hotel that night. For the next 6 months we lived at different homeless shelters, the car and motels when I had the money. I kept the boys in same school and they received perfect attendance. Failure was not an option for them.

What was it like when you first had to admit to yourself that you were homeless?

It finally set in 4 days later when I was at Sunday worship service at church. I began to fill out my tithes/offering envelope and as I was filling it out I got to the address line and I had a long pause. I realized I didn’t have an address anymore. That is when I really knew it was real!

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What was it like when you had to admit to someone else that you were homeless?  Did you tell anyone?

The first real conversation I had was with my children. A little back story: the week of the 2nd Atlanta snowstorm me and the kids were at home. By this time there was no more cable. I had “The Pursuit of Happyness” on DVD. My children asked to watch this movie. I told them no because you will not understand it because its not a “Disney movie”. They insisted to see it because Jaden Smith was in the movie. I agreed to let them watch it and they really enjoyed the movie. Now fast forward: After the first night of sleeping in the car my son woke up and asked me “are we homeless”? I didn’t answer him. I was silently praying to God to tell me what to say. He asked again “are we like Will Smith and Jaden in the movie”? I said “yes”. Then he paused and said “well its okay because its a happy ending at the end of the movie”. You see God prepared my children by way of a movie! Other than volunteers at the different shelters no one knew we were homeless. I didn’t tell anyone because God instructed me not to. God told me during this test I couldn’t depend on people but to totally depend on HIM, so I did.

What was the one thing that kept you going during this time in your life?10915158_10155061251545444_1727001761801052324_n

2 things: Prayer and my children’s upbeat demeanor. They never complained. They never referred to the shelter as the shelter but as “home.” The fact that they were happy made me push harder. They acted as normal little children and adapted to the surroundings. Praying and staying in my word was the chief cornerstone in my life.

How have you grown because of this experience?

I am much more sensitive to other’s journeys. I developed a closer relationship with God and my children. Definitely a humbling experience.

What are you doing now to help others that are going through a similar situation and how can we be apart?

Right now I have a blog entitled “BumLife 101” www.bumlife101.com I have a facebook page/twitter and IG for this. The purpose is to change society’s negative impression of “bums” to a positive face of empowerment! I tell people all the time to get involved in your community. There are many, many ways to give back and volunteer. I post updates to the FB page on ways to help. Eventually I will have merchandise that can be purchased that will help homeless families I meet here in Atlanta.

1620812_10154739835370444_5983223325489488169_nYou are helping others, who helped you?

My pastor Dr. E. Dewey Smith Jr. helped me subconsciously without even knowing my whole story. His sermons helped me get through my toughest days. He also gave me a formal house blessing at our current location.

An employee at Atlanta Missions by the name of Abraham “my sweet friend Abe” was the first person to go above and beyond to help me. He knew me and my kids were sleeping in the car and he found us a bed our first night at the shelter. The shelter was booked to capacity but he got on the phone and called the owner and demanded we be let in. I will forever be grateful to him for that. He and I keep in touch to this day. In fact, I just got off the phone with him. We plan to do the Atlanta Missions 5K in a few weeks together.

Also there was an organization that heard my story and provided me and my children a house to live in for the next two years rent free and fully furnished! The house was full of everything we needed. Countless volunteers I met at different shelters gave us clothes, food, gift cards, appliances, TV’s, household items; everything we needed! We moved in July 2014.

What can we expect from Tay in the future and any last thoughts?

I’m working on a project that will detail my story. I’m writing this. I am also taking acting classes and I am planning on creatively bringing awareness to homelessness through the Arts. That’s all I can say about that at this time.

When you meet your maker, what do you want your legacy to be?

I just want God to be pleased with trusting me with the test. And for others to know that if God doesn’t get the glory out of the story then it was a waste of time. So my legacy should be directly linked to God being my guide and with that being priority everything else fell into place.  I would like for people to know that being judgemental of others is THE worst thing you can do. Always imagine yourself in that position. I hope people remember me as being simply compassionate, nonjudgemental and loving. All of the other titles don’t matter to me.

A special thank you to Benton Aladin who shot the video and Artanza Mcguire. Lady Tay also would like to thank Benton for helping her tell her story and encouraging her and Artanza.

Stay Connected With Tay Lang:

Website: www.taylang.com
Twitter: @taylang101
Instagram: @taylang101

Stay Connected With Bum Life 101:

Twitter: @bumlife101
Instagram: @bumlife101
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Tamala Baldwin

We are all born with incredible gifts and my purpose is to help as many along this journey of mine to remember their position of honor and royalty through inspirational, Christian-based media.
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