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Thread: Thanksgiving - Part 2

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    If it's subsidized shouldn't it cost less though?
    My point was that subsidized housing costs less than $1000/month with MORE amenities - minimally, a bathroom! Geila doesn't state whether the garage is "subsidized" or not; but I would guess it is not, as I'm still thinking the "no bathroom" would disqualify it as such.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi

    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. - Dalai Lama

  2. #12
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    I would try to help your new friend find subsidized, safe housing. What she is in does not sound like legal housing.
    I would not undertake supporting this woman and her children, which is what you would be doing in the scenario you propose.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yppej View Post
    If I remember correctly you need your space and didn't like your husband's relatives? friends? over to visit so I wouldn't recommend inviting anyone to live with you.
    You're right, and I know this about myself, so as much I want to do it, I won't. I've done it before and regretted it.

    As far as the subsidized housing, from what I hear it's very difficult to get here. You have to be on a waiting list for years. I don't think she has much chance of getting it anytime soon. That's why people can get away with charging for what she has now. She officially rents a "room" and can sometimes use the kitchen in the house; there's no heat or insulation or running water in the garage. The cheapest apartments in the area are $1600 for a 1/bedroom, and that's a bare-bones apartment, no washer/dryer in the unit or anything like that. For someone like me, paying an extra $600/mo seems preferable and doable, but I can afford $600/mo. To her, that's over 50% increase every month. And apartment buildings charge first and last month's rent plus security deposit; so we're talking $4800 just to move in. I'm not sure what utilities are included in that, but I don't think electric and gas are included.

    I'm not planning on supporting her and her children. It's just hard to see someone in that situation when we have the means to help. I'll be thinking about how I can be of support without giving the impression that she should be embarrassed about her situation. This kind of thing is happening a lot here and is just an unfortunate reality.

    She's new in the neighborhood and I was asking her which school her kids attend and she said that a woman came to her house and convinced her to enroll in a special school but that her kids don't like it and that it's in a different neighborhood. It turns out one of the local charter schools is aggressively recruiting students and that's what happened to her. I told her the public schools in our community are good schools and are very close to her house (the elementary & middle school that her kids would attend are just a couple of blocks away) so she is going to move her kids. That's at least one thing I could help her with right away. There are a few other resources that I will connect her with. She's a victim of domestic violence and there's a local organization that provides lots of resources for victims.

    I will also put together a Christmas basket for them and ask her if she wants one of my area rugs. The rug is about 6 years old but it still looks decent and it's got to be better than nothing.

  4. #14
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    1st, please don't feel guilty. You've worked hard for your life.

    2nd, because your heart wants to help THIS woman, can you offer to drive those kids to school so she does not have to pay? Can you pack a lunch for each of them so Mom doesn't have to worry about that?

    If you have the rug to spare, offer it.


    And those folks in their car, wave to them and give them a smile. Don't make them invisible. If you feel so moved, take them a hot meal sometime.

    You can be generous in your comfort zone. Guilt? No room. Keep your heart filled with joy and gratitude for the life you've created for yourself! That is how to keep guilt out. But for the grace of God go I

  5. #15
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    1st, please don't feel guilty. You've worked hard for your life.

    2nd, because your heart wants to help THIS woman, can you offer to drive those kids to school so she does not have to pay? Can you pack a lunch for each of them so Mom doesn't have to worry about that?

    If you have the rug to spare, offer it.


    And those folks in their car, wave to them and give them a smile. Don't make them invisible. If you feel so moved, take them a hot meal sometime.

    You can be generous in your comfort zone. Guilt? No room. Keep your heart filled with joy and gratitude for the life you've created for yourself! That is how to keep guilt out. But for the grace of God go I
    This is a very nice thought and it’s practical at the same time. Do small things as you can. Inviting someone in to live in your home is a really really big deal. And well that may be great for the recipient, it may not last because it may not be good for you 0P. Anyway – Gardnr points out several good ways to help and a framework for helping.

  6. #16
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    Geila, you have come up with incredibly helpful information which directly helps her. Things she would not have the time to find out with kids and two jobs. You could help by being the "finder" who can take the time to find what is available and help her access what is available. What thrift stores are recommended in your area?

    You might talk to a local domestic violence shelter to get ideas. We have ones with counseling, housing help, etc. Finding the info is time consuming for someone working two jobs.

    I would consider talking to friends about forming a Christmas for them. Not in a bunch of boxes way but with actual needs. For example, gas cards, food cards, clothing, etc. Small other things that can be easily taken to another home if you want to give a toy. It is often easier to get friends to give to a specific child or family than to give to an anonymous someone. The worst thing they can say is no.

    You are doing a good thing.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    It took my friend 4 years to get a low income senior apartment but I am glad I helped her apply because it got her out of a unsafe dump. Google local services and help that way. Also contact a state or county social worker for other resources.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    because your heart wants to help THIS woman, can you offer to drive those kids to school so she does not have to pay?

    But for the grace of God go I
    Actually, if she moves her kids they can walk to school! Where they're at now is def too far and unsafe for them to walk, but the public schools are just a couple of blocks away and her kids are 11 and 12. There's plenty of kids who walk to school in this area so they will be safe. But I will offer to walk them the first week and offer to have them over when they have off days and she works. And I've identified other resources I can connect her with. I know she's already dealing with a bunch of legal stuff so I want to be careful not to overwhelm her with my "help".

    I think my issue is that I feel the need to help ALL people, not just this woman. It's hard for me to turn off the urge to help others. It's actually painful for me to see others struggling. It did help to hear that others struggle with this too and have been in similar situations.

    And yes, the phrase "There but for the grace of God go I" is always on my mind. When I was younger I wanted to be a social worker but then realized that I would not survive it.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I have struggled with this with both people and dogs. I only lasted 4 years as a social worker but mainly because a collegiate that I had cases in common was murdered by a client in her own home. We all felt strongly it was a client and it took 22 years to solve the crime. I had small kids and wasn’t taking any chances. In those 4 years all my kids outgrown clothes, toys, extra furniture, etc was given to clients. Up until recently we had double the dogs we really wanted because I couldn’t turn them down. My mom said you can’t save the world and she was right. Don’t let it consume you. Help but keep healthy boundaries.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    I think my issue is that I feel the need to help ALL people, not just this woman. It's hard for me to turn off the urge to help others. It's actually painful for me to see others struggling. It did help to hear that others struggle with this too and have been in similar situations.
    I hear ya! Probably my reason to be in healthcare for 39 years. I decided many many years ago, all of our charitable giving stays right here in town: Foodbank, Women's/Childrens' shelter and 1 more family shelter as well as a few others.

    I can't help them all so I selected the organizations who stretch my $ the furthest.

    Yes, the struggle is real. And it really is key to enjoy your own life, your home, your vehicle, your hobbies, your everything. Your mental health needs you to do what you can and let the rest go.

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