General Question

EverRose11's avatar

Anybody here ever been homeless or are now homeless?

Asked by EverRose11 (1021 points ) January 21st, 2012

What happened to you? How did this happen to you? People must realize by now that the number of homeless people are multiplying at an amazing speed….. Our Economy has failed us.. NO ONE CHOOSES HOMELESSNESS ~

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16 Answers

selfe's avatar

Welcome @EverRose11 . I have been lucky, but it’s amazing how expensive things are becoming in the USA and how big (thus expensive) most houses/apartments are compared to the basic needs of a person…

geeky_mama's avatar

We have two family members in a neighboring state that were homeless for a stretch in 2011. I suspect that my mom and aunt rallied to their aid eventually. (They are not homeless now, though still unemployed.)

In the city I live in we also have a lot of employed homeless people. Housing costs are so expensive (and affordable rental housing so non-existent..in our area Section 8 wait lists are measured in years, not months) that many families and single folks end up staying in homeless shelters while they are working.

Honestly, I think many people (my family included) would end up homeless in some amount of time without a paycheck. In this economy it takes far longer to find a new job than it used to so once you burn through any savings you have you can quickly find yourself unemployed AND homeless.
I think people need to see their towns/neighborhoods like a boat. We’re all in it together. When people fall overboard..sometimes the safety nets have holes. It’s up to us to help throw a life line to the folks that fall through. We can’t wait for the captain to stop the boat and turn it around…WE have to help.

.

Judi's avatar

In the ‘80’s my family lived in a tent for 2 months. My husband and I still went to work and took our daughter to daycare. We were able to go to family to do laundry. It could have been worse.

CardAngel's avatar

I am facing homelessness. Since I am disabled and in ill health, I can’t work. My husband left me after 19 years of marriage and the temporary spousal support I get from him doesn’t cover even half of my rent, utilities, prescriptions, and doctor bills. Once the divorce is final (very soon), the alimony will be half of what I’m getting now.

I was denied disability and SSI and I’m now waiting (1 year to 18 months) for a hearing. There is no guarantee I’ll be approved and I don’t know what to do in the meantime. I can’t keep up with my rent and my landlord is on the verge of evicting me. I’m trying to figure out what to do to save myself but I can’t come up with anything. I will have nowhere to go.

Nullo's avatar

Sort of, owing to X-TREME transience over a month-long period in 2003. We lived at friends’ houses until we got back home.

auhsojsa's avatar

During my childhood right after my mom and father divorced I was swung around from house to house while she looked for a job in Alaska. I was in San Diego living with people from Philippines that my mother knew of. These were just people of her province as she was growing up. I think it went from age 5 – 9 on and off every summer. It was strange. Technically I wasn’t homeless but more like orphaned for a while. But from a kids perspective the high intensity of respecting someones home was in fact stressful now that I think about it. @CardAngel have you considered jobs such as door person for Wal Mart. Or babysitter? Post an ad on CraigsList for nanny. But please read books about it if you’re not experienced. I will pray for you and your situation.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

For a few months in 1999–2000 due to leaving my job, my home, my city and most of my important belongings in order to disappear from a psychopath. I stayed with a few friends then a few relatives then a bf after he discovered my situation and asked me to move in.

What was most stressful was being able to easily find a job but not having enough money to set up a place to live, no matter how cheap. Apts. require deposits of all sorts that pretty much add up to 3 times whatever the rent is.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Yes I have been. I had a serious drug problem and lost everything. I lived in the back of a friend’s pickup truck with canopy. I stole food. I never got caught. It was cold and almost unbearable. I applied to social service agencies to no avail. I met someone that helped me in a restaurant, using my last $10 to get something to eat. I have been recovered for 6 years now and see more beggars on the highway than I can ever remember since being in this country. I live with family members now, since I am clean. I will never forgot my homeless experience. I think the USA is severely lacking in basic healthcare, and social service agencies. @CardAngel , @EverRose11 I am thinking of you. I have written on here before tips on how to get by if you are homeless. It’s not easy. I don’t know how old you are, but if you aren’t a hustler, advertise on craigslist to do housecleaning, anything. You can rent a room in somebody’s house for $300 a month. I have numerous other tips that I used to survive that are here somewhere. Good luck and god bless. Makes me cry. ps I have a doctorate so it isnt lack of skills or education

CardAngel's avatar

@auhsojsa , @trailsillustrated , Thank you for your advice, prayers and good thoughts. If I could do any of those types of work, I would. Since I have severe and constant back, neck, shoulder and hip pain, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein Barr, depression and a bunch of other health problems, I’m very limited in what I can do.

I really do want to work, more than you can imagine, but my doctors don’t think it’s possible right now. The many therapies and treatments I’ve already tried haven’t helped. I am working with them to find more treatment and therapy options. I can barely take care of myself and my apartment at this point. While my situation is bad right now, I still have hope that something has to help. I just hope it happens before I lose my apartment!

trailsillustrated's avatar

@CardAngel contact every Catholic charity and social service agency in your area. You can get your rent paid this way. You must have had some medical services, with those diagnoses. Get your medical records and take them with you to every charity you can find. Also, there are really low cost clinics for homeless people. Find them on the internet. I wasn’t able to access much help but you can, if you work at it. It’s time consuming and humiliating, but you can get your apartment and basic services paid this way, for a few months. Apply for SSD too.

CardAngel's avatar

@trailsillustrated , I have applied for SSD and SSI and was denied. I am now in the appeals process but it will take a year to 18 months for a hearing in front of a judge. I have contacted every agency possible and I have a social worker trying to assist me in finding help. However, since the government has not officially declared me as disabled, I don’t qualify for help from many organizations. I’m still trying everything I can though. Thanks for your advice. It really means a lot to know that people care.

My husband always told me it didn’t matter to him that I couldn’t work and did not have an income because we were doing fine on his salary. When he left me, he took all the money in our accounts, leaving me with nothing and the rent and bills due. I thought we’d always be together. We were so in love and really happy. He lovingly and willingly helped me get dressed every day. He refused to let me carry even the lightest of grocery bags when we came home from shopping. He was good to me in every way. He never hurt me until he left me. I never thought to start a bank account of my own – I just didn’t need it, or so I thought.

Anyone reading this, learn from me. No matter how sure you are that your love is eternal and that your partner would never hurt you or leave you, be prepared for it with savings of your own. If you stay together forever, no harm. If not, you have something to start over with.

partyrock's avatar

I was homeless for about 2 months, living in Hollywood. I then stayed in a homeless shelter for youth. It was really rough during that times. Depression as well.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@CardAngel did you have a lawyer when you divorced? They are required to pay you enough alimony so that you can live a similar life to what you did during marriage- and a cash settlement and part of his retirement. You could do an emergency withdrawl of whatever part of his retirement? Oh, my heart goes out to you. Good luck and I hope that something happens for you to not lose you home! PS I just read that you said you are on ‘Temporary spousal support’ – that means nothing has been entered into judgement yet. You should contact your lawyer! Or a legal clinic- judges get angry at men that withhold money and take it out of accounts before settlement. You should have gotten far more than this.

CardAngel's avatar

@trailsillustrated , The divorce is not final yet. I do have a lawyer. I’ve had 2 hearings regarding the amount of temporary spousal support I’m receiving. I should be receiving 40% of my husband’s salary for temporary spousal support (according to the divorce laws in my state) but the rulings were for much less than that.

During the first hearing, I did not have a lawyer. My husband had a lawyer and she made sure I wasn’t heard when I tried to explain my inability to work due to my disabilities, my bills, and everything else I tried to say. I tried to argue in my defense but the court officer shut me down and told me he would decide the amount after the hearing and I would receive the final ruling in the mail.

In the second hearing, with my lawyer there, the court officer gave me a very small increase. I wanted my lawyer to argue for the full amount but he said I should just accept the increase because the court officer could decide to not give me any increase at all. It seemed the court officer was going to do just that (he was annoyed by my tearful pleas and did not want to see my list of expenses that I was required to fill out) so I took what I could get.

I can file for another increase in 2 months if the divorce is not yet final, but when the divorce becomes final the alimony I will receive will be even less than I get now. My husband’s lawyer is even asking me to give up any claim to his pension. If I could afford to switch lawyers I would, but the money I gave him to retain his services is non-refundable.

It all feels unfair and hopeless.

Thank you for good wishes.

trailsillustrated's avatar

GO to a legal clinic- they have them to advocate for battered, homeless and generally poor women. The good thing is that they are usually operated by large non-profits that and often have super star lawyers on their boards. They will help you to gain a larger settlement. You see, you case is very skewed and unfair because your husband can afford a lawyer, you can’t, and there was a tremendous imbalance of power during the marriage. States are required to consider this. A legal clinic can set you up with a VERY good lawyer that will do your case on contingency provided you will receive a cash settlement, and with the right lawyer, you would. You need an advocate. Please go to a legal clinic. I did and it was the best decision I could have made. I care. Please let us know how you go.

Shippy's avatar

@CardAngel I’m going through much the same things, its so difficult. Hugs.

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