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Thread: How can I avoid becoming homeless?

  1. #1

    How can I avoid becoming homeless?

    Hello. I haven't posted on here much before nor have I introduced myself. But I really enjoy the community bond here and have learned ways to try and to cope and keep positive despite my injury.

    I was injured in a car crash a year and a half ago and I'm still adjusting to the psychological and physical pain this has caused me. I'm a younger person and this basically hit me in the prime of my life right as I was starting to build a career and name for myself. My world has completely changed in the last year and it's been hard for me to keep going or even just wanting to survive anymore because of the change in my lifestyle and because of the severe pain.

    Here's the background on what happened after my injury (I had a burst l5-S1 which paralyzed my left leg.)

    5 months after my injury, living off of credit. I went to social services to see if they could provide me with any help since I could no longer work or afford to rent an apartment any longer. They decided to place me in a homeless shelter for 2 weeks (a homeless shelter is one of the scariest places you could imagine, and, despite being disabled and in excruciating pain I had to abide by their curfew (forced outside at 7am return at 5pm) and literally had to cry to let me be able to stay in bed for just a day because of the severe neuropathic pain I was in while. All of this was while I was on heavy pain narcotics.). After that they placed me into a more long term homeless shelter for 6 months. I'm too young and haven't worked long enough to qualify for SSDI or any substantial government funding or assistance. My credit is now ruined trying to survive. The longer term homeless shelter only allowed me to stay for six months then they said there was nothing more they could do for me (during that time I had surgeries and physio.. all out of a homeless shelter, all that the state would to to help me. They treated me more or less if I deserved what happened to me and gave me the cold shoulder) All of this was a complete shock to me because I grew up well to do and upper middle class and have always had good work and no issues with finances before or having to experience anything as demoralizing as this. A nightmare despite my injury (my injury just making everything 10x worse) Just a complete shock to me to have my injury then be put in that environment. I had a suicide attempt when I first got there because I literally couldn't the mental and phys pain of everything that was going on anymore.

    I didn't want to burden my family so this was the route I was forced to take, since I literally had no other choices. After the 6 month period ran up I had to leave the state and finally swallowed my pride to move in with my mom. My mom is 62 years old and has a life of her own. She is burdened with me being here and I can't stay here much longer anyway because she's been forced to sell her house.

    I don't have it as physically as bad as some here. I'm not wheelchair bound and can walk short distances but I have 24/7 severe neuralgia pain, severe back pain where I am unable to bend or straighten my back and I need assistance to walk with a walker. I don't know what to do anymore. I see homeless people in wheelchairs and my bunk mate at the shelter was in a chair etc and I always thought it was because they were drug addicts or alcoholics but after my experience it's easy for me to see how a normal working person could end up that way without much hope.

    How has everyone else been able to avoid this? I was literally just building my career through private contract work, I am young and have always had a very healthy lifestyle so I never worried about getting private medical coverage. I earned $50,000 in 2009 and had $20,000 of credit (all of my credit is gone now). I think of my future and the experience I've gone through and I feel like it would just be better to kill myself at this point. I get so depressed and used to be such a strong person but life seems brutally cold and hopeless for me now. After my injury most of my close friends distanced themselves from me and everything (what can you expect for people in their 20's trying everything they can to build their own lives, I guess. Not to be burdened by someone who isn't functionally anymore.). All I have now is my mom but she's in her 60's, and not financially well off, and her home is being foreclosed, so I don't know what to do anymore.

    Apologize if this is hard to read but I'm in a lot of pain and not really thinking very straight because of it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    I'm sorry to read your story. First though, what have you tried to do for the pain before you used up your credit? Did any of the pain meds work or did you get to even try them?
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Yes I was on or tried motrin + oxycodone, vicodin, fentynyl, and neurontin. They didn't help me and I didn't like feeling drugged up. Especially being in such a vulnerable and uncertain position.

  4. #4
    My previous employment and all of my work experience was in sales, which is mostly commission based (no 401k, no benefits, but high pay) and requires high energy, confidence, drive etc. Not something I can do now. I am trying to start over severely disabled now with nothing at all and not getting any govt assistance or any help except just the bleakest hell possibly seemingly. I just turned 30. I guess my only real option is to kill myself if I end up having to sleep on a sidewalk somewhere since this country is so horrible and wants to punish me for something that isn't my fault.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Don't make any snap decisions. If you try and don't succeed, you could make yourself even more disabled. Fight back!

    Do you have bowel/bladder control? I don't.
    You can walk? I can't and haven't in 26yrs.
    Sexual response? Not here. I lost my virginity and might as well have read a book.

    I was paralyzed at 12yrs of age from Transverse Myelitis and am now 39yrs old. Completely dead from the belly button down, with a little return to the left of my naval. Nary with family support (emotional, physical or financial) I left home at 18yrs old. I first started working at a data entry job, then a pizza place, then a hospital on their switchboard/front desk and then a utility company in clerical and then to 911 dispatcher which has excellent benefits and good pay for someone who never finished college. I've been there 12yrs and have had 2011 off while I deal with complications (hysterectomy from a fall and ongoing bowel/bladder issues), terrible skin with rashes and pressure sores with loss of appetite and I've lost my stamina for pushing too far in my manual chair (hoping that's fixable with some exercise).

    If I can do it at 18, you can do it at 30.

    BUT I'm not a regular sufferer of pain. A little neuro here and there and what feels like arthritis. The occasional muscle strain. If you can find the right combination of meds (drug companies always offer lower income programs), you might be able to go back to work. The first thing is to secure an income.

    I'm in Canada so the laws are different than the US (are you in the US?) but aren't there funds for people who have never worked and become disabled? There are lots here that have been in your predicament as teenagers and even more disabled who have come through the other side. I hope they chime in soon.

    The holidays are rough. I've been suicidal before and I give myself an end-date .. so now I'd say if things aren't better by .. say July 29th (my paralysis anniversary) .. I'll .. but they're usually better.

    Pick one problem first ... the income. Worry about the next one after that. No friends that would take you in for a determined period of time? Is there an ER in your area that will take you even though you're not insured - try to get rehab and connect with a social worker.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  6. #6
    What state do you live in? That can help me pull up resources for you. If you have a certain number of quarters in you should get SSI/SSDI or both. If your social security is low enough you could get Medicaid with it as well. Even working part time to go thru college you would have enough quarters--I did when injured at 20 from part time high school job.

    Alot depends on the state you live in on what services are available. Post it here or in a PM .

    FWIW, go to legal aide and file bankrupcy---it is better than having judgements against you. Bankrupcy will clear quicker from your financial record.

    Hope you get some relief. There are resources out there, some better than others. Knowing what state you are in will go a long way.

    Finally, if you are feeling distressed and suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The folks there are good and trained. If you just need to talk because you are afraid, they can help

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - With Help Comes National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255): Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, nationwide network of crisis centers.
    Every day I wake up is a good one

  7. #7
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    there isnt much you can do about the cauda equina pain. fentanyl has worked for me for the real pain though.

    I ended up moving to another state after being homeless for four months. I had two minor surgeries, and they would not heal while I was homeless, and I needed a third debriding once I found temporary shelter for two weeks. a kind aquaintence offered that. I got rickets, and anemic, and still am having affects two years later from that four months of shivering, being hungry, scared, lonely, and not getting real sleep.

    I ended up moving to a state with lower rent, but the spinal cord care is not so great. there is a ton of subsidised housing here. I am sharing a non subsidised apartment though for 650 a month. I pay half that and another 50-80 a month for power. the same apartment was 1500 in pennsylvania where I was homeless. still, I could probably not get an apartment on my own due to my tiny income.

    a person in a wheelchair has a better chance at finding a job than a person using crutches or a walker. no one is going to hire him. maybe phone bill collecting, but being homeless and halfway disabled is about totally disabled.

    his being suicidal is just icing.

    I would say, find a hospital with acute psychiatric care, a psych floor, and get admitted. you may be in up to a month, and in that time you can get some sleep, food, some help for your suicidal thoughts, and some resorces through social work.

    where are you?

  8. #8
    I dont have the pain you do but i am paralyzed from the chest down. You just cant move your left leg???!!!! I think you need to reaccess your situation and think twice before you say you are going to kill yourself! I hope you make it through this hard time keep your head up and keep fighting.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Look into Castle Law regarding the foreclosure. Depending on the state, it's possible you could keep the house or at least receive a portion of the value.

  10. #10
    I'd think that Adult Protection Services would be a one resource but I think Jody's advice to get acute psych care is the most important thing. Opiates + severe pain can make suicide seem to be a viable option. Opates themselves can cause severe depression and thoughts of suicide...add that to a traumatic life situation like this one and it's impossible to even see other options. Go to the ER and tell them you're planning suicide and why; get admitted and get some help from the medical rehab people, social services, Vocational rehabilitation, independent living centers etc.

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