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Thread: Need advice for a homeless person

  1. #1

    Need advice for a homeless person

    My husband has noticed a woman sleeping and living out of her car near his work outside of a gas station.He's seen her there for 2 weeks,but someone told him that it's been way longer.During the day,she's been sitting inside of the building where there's a deli.He's been sliding money through her window since he doesn't want to hurt her pride.

    This is in a pretty rural area and the closest shelter is in the city.There have been news reports that it is packed full.So my question is what is there to do?I'm afraid that if I contact the county soc. services they will just have the police tell her to go elsewhere. Atleast here,I feel she's getting food etc as they(the store) haven't run her off yet.Anyone else been in this situation,know the system,suggestions?I'm not use to finding better options for a person,if she were an animal I'd have her covered.

  2. #2
    WOW, that is a tough one!
    Do you know of a church in your area that may be able to assist her?
    Homelessness is something we all hear about, it is not until we see it that it really hits!

  3. #3
    PM me and I will see what I can do to help.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  4. #4
    Needless to say those first few days at the hospital were overwhelming for most of us...spent in a waiting room with many people, experiencing the most god awful hell ever...but a coming together of sorts in getting to know one another and learning names and injuries etc...

    One nite I was out getting some fresh air...a car honked in the parking lot...it was an elderly woman who weighed several hundred pounds...she asked if I would go get the "big" wheelchair for her because she couldn't walk by herself because of her weight...I did and even assisted her in getting into it and even helped push to get her to the waiting room...story was she had been told her daughter had an accident and she needed to wait until they called her before she could see her daughter...she had not had time to go by the bank and she had no money and had to eat...could I give her five bucks...of course I did...

    Noticed she was there for several weeks...only story seemed to change depending on who she talked with...which was always "new families" and I saw her ask for money several times, saying she was afraid to leave her loved one and just needed a meal...I felt really sorry for her...and yet kind of pissed at the same time...I had enough to worry about and mentioned it to a couple people she was a scam...pretty good one too cause a few months after we were discharged, grandma had a stroke and was hospitilized there...and yep...that lady was still doing her scam! same van in the parking lot, moved regularly...I peeked in the window and it was packed tight and looked like she spent time sleeping in it...so sad...thank God I am safe and have a roof over my head...often think about the saying "but for the grace of God...

    Thats one heck of a man you got! wish I had an answer for you...and to think of the heat, are there any air conditioned shelters around? lets hope the deli guy lets her stick around and her luck will soon change...Perhaps your husband could talk to her and see what is going on in her life and get an idea what she needs...maybe it is something as not having gas money or her car broke down? I just don't know, or have any answers...sometimes we just can't do anything...much as my heart tells me I could, or should...but don't...

    I'll say it again...you got one heck of a man! judy

  5. #5
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    I worked in an area that had many homeless people, and it also had a shelter, but many people did not want to go to the shelter because it is chaotic and the risk of diseases like TB or theft of what little they had left from their pre-homeless days. My department use to have lunches sent in regularly and we would bring out the extra pizza or sandwhiches or donuts, whatever. Most were just down on their luck, and some were the result mental hospitals no longer keeping patients for more than a short stay. None that I ever had any doings with were a threat to anyone, and as time wore on we would bring Big Mac's in the morning, someone at lunch time would run out with the coffee pot and cups. One time a guy who walked on crutches just needed a simple wing nut to hold the place you put your hands on (the horizontal piece, have no idea what it is called) so we just got one from the hardware store for him the next day. My mom was still alive then and actually knitted some mittens and hats for me to give out. Anything you do is an act of kindness, and I agree that I would never call anyone to report her presence as it might cause her more problems. I would give her a list of any resources you might uncover though because then she has the choice of acting on the info or not.

  6. #6
    Moderator jody's Avatar
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    sometimes everything just sucks, and people end up without a home even if they are not scammers or lazy. id say the lady in the car, the one minding her own business and not asking for handouts is probably a lot like me. life just took a turn one day, and one thing led to another. the one in the van asking for handouts and in the habit of oozing out sob stories, has finally lost her dignity. no longer cares what people think of her. that is just her way now. I doubt she was born that way. she got that way though. all the people I see homeless in my town are heroin addicts or crackheads or wearing out a barstool somewhere. I do not drink, have a drug addiction, or a scam, but I find myself knowing that it can happen. I am ashamed. why? Im afraid people think I got this way by being lazy or stupid, or addicted. which came first the addiction or the homelessness anyway? when did the ol gal in the van stop trying to have a home and resort to fulltime panhandling? does the lady in the car have any friends? do they know? is she just too ashamed to tell anyone her situation? a thousand stories. ten thousand answers. one question.
    how did you become homeless? my own answere is that I do not know. I just looked up one day and realised that my home was gone. it coulda been a wave, or a california brush fire, or termites, just what ever it was, here I am.

  7. #7
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    Jody, please don't be ashamed. The sad reality is that we are all just one or two unfortunate events away from being homeless. It is not a character flaw, and none of us here would ever think of it as such I hope. I don't even feel that the old lady panhandling has lost her dignity. She is doing what she needs to do to survive, and that takes courage. If she is doing this repeatedly it is simply that, like all humans, she needs to eat repeatedly, and has found a difficult but moderately sucessful way of doing so.

  8. #8
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    I suspect that the number of homeless is going to get worse given the economic situation our country is in.

    We have a few homeless folks in my town. Everyone does what they can to help them. Like someone said before some are just victims of cuts in our mental health system.

    It is so heartbreaking. If you befriended her chances are she is just like the rest of us with being one paycheck away from disaster.

    I don't know what to tell ya but I think you and hubby have a heart of gold.

    He doesnt have a single brother or a twin by any chance? LOL
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  9. #9
    Like someone else said before, the economy and all this upheaval about homes being lost, I also believe homelessness will be seen more often. One of my brothers went through a period of homelessness while he had his two teenage daughtes with him and his wife was in a mental hospital.

    If you saw my x, you would probably think he was homeless. He isn't though. He had a TBI and is an alcoholic. His mom left a small piece of property which houses two little apartments. He is supposed to live in one but there have been many problems with his living there. His mind just isn't working anymore, I think his TBI is getting worse because of his drinking. It is incredible what his sister who lives in one of the apts tells me about what he does. This past winter he started lighting up fires inside the house to supposedly warm up. They have a heater but he wouldn't turn it on. One day his sister was told to go back there cuz there was a smell of smoke, Sure enough, he had lit a fire in a trash can and the whole house had filled with smoke. She had to turn off the fire. She never reported or called in the firemen. Don't know why though. I have tried many time to get protective services to help but nothing is done. All they do is give me a confirmation number and tell me they will check on it. I call to find out if they can let me know what happened but get no call back. His sister keeps complaining about having to go over to his apt to clean up his messes. I tell her to call Protective Services and she tells me they won't listen or won't do anything. To my point of view, he should be put in a safe place but feel so disgusted that no one is helping him either. I wouldn't doubt that he should be considered a mental case by now.

    I have also seen my late sil son homeless, sleeping out in the street. He is a mental case, won't take his meds and doesn't want to stay with anyone, not even family that offers a place. It is so sad that these people, whether mental or not have to be out there. I feel for their situation and have thought that even if we might get a feeling of being scammed or think that their addictions are a reason not to help, we might still have a bit that he can help with. Yes, addictions may come into the picture but how do we know that that is what is the only reason that pushes them to ask for money. Maybe somehow along the road, they lost hope and started to use that as a means of coping. I don't know, I have lived too close to people in these situations to just judge them unworthy of help. My sister and I have many times disagreed on this point. She doesn't believe that we should give to those who are out there with signs asking saying they will work for food and look like drunks or addicts. I ask her how do we know if they are really hungry or how they got to that point. We don't know what may lie in the future for us or anyone close to us.

    Eh. sorry for this long post but thought I would give an idea of how I see things.

    Quad, I really don't know what to tell you to do. It is so sad to see this no? I will however tell you that both you and your husband do have a big, gold heart. We need more compassionate people in this world like you. Hope someone here can give you an answer to your question.

    Jody, am so saddened to hear that you have found no solution to your situation so far. Wish you lived in my town and I would personally try to help you. Am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers always.

    Raven
    Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. ~Victor Hugo~

    A warrior is not one who always wins,
    but one who keeps on fighting to the end ~ Unknown ~

  10. #10
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quad79 View Post
    My husband has noticed a woman sleeping and living out of her car near his work outside of a gas station.He's seen her there for 2 weeks,but someone told him that it's been way longer.During the day,she's been sitting inside of the building where there's a deli.He's been sliding money through her window since he doesn't want to hurt her pride.

    This is in a pretty rural area and the closest shelter is in the city.There have been news reports that it is packed full.So my question is what is there to do?I'm afraid that if I contact the county soc. services they will just have the police tell her to go elsewhere. Atleast here,I feel she's getting food etc as they(the store) haven't run her off yet.Anyone else been in this situation,know the system,suggestions?I'm not use to finding better options for a person,if she were an animal I'd have her covered.
    some people don't want help. maybe ask her first before helping her to not offend her
    bruce
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

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