My Life Housing the Homeless - Frugal Country Living
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My Life Housing the Homeless

Taken from a thread i started on the Dollar Stretcher Community Forum, this temporary situation is becoming more and more permanent. I have since found other friends that have had to take in homeless, underemployed friends or relatives. This has become something of an enigma of the recession.

It began with an unemployed 20 yr old friend of my 17 yr old son's. He was out of work and out of a place to live, except for his 1990 Subaru. He has since found work although is seems to only be 18 hrs a week, and it is seasonal. But it is something. He has not contributed much monetarily, but he has put in some time here with chores, trench digging, roof shoveling, garden work (before the snow came), and helping dh with side jobs. He sleeps on the couch or on the floor, as the 4 of us barely fir into our 1000 sq ft cottage.( There is an attic room that increses the space, but it is unheated and only has access from the outside, so it is used as storage most of the year.)

The second homeless boy came to us via his father who works away and is home only 1 or 2 days a week. The young man had been left home alone all week and weeeknd long after his stepmom had to go away for an unspecified period of time. the young buy's father felt he needed direction and supervision and a family to be a part of. So he is here. The boy's father contributes to my grocery budget, for which I am very thankful!  The boy sleeps on either the love seat or the floor.

I would love to find some roll-up mattresses...that would make it so much easier to roll bedding up and get it back out again at night.

My groceries, electric, and gas expenses have gone up.

I have a friend that will be having her sister and her sister's teen move in with them because she is unemployed and is losing her home in foreclosure.

I have another family that is part time housing a man from their church that lost his home and job and now lives in a place without hot water, and only an electric heater for heat. I didn't know these places still existed!

My friend down the road is now housing her friend and son, at least temporarily until they find work again.

I think before this recession truly is over, we will be seeing more communal living out of sheer necessity. I just wish my place was more suited to that kind of thing!



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December 23, 2009 2:11 PM

teacher65 said:

I commend what you and your neighbors are doing.  For the last 2 winters my church has hosted the homeless one night each week.  Six other local churches take another night. For the most part our guests seem to be without family support.  I have noticed that many of my friends and neighbors do not want to hear about any of this.  It makes them uncomfortable.  There really are many in our society who are invisible.

December 28, 2009 9:43 AM

BevMoore said:

I took in my son's co-worker since she and my son only work part time and go to school.  We also have her son about 50% of the time since she and her ex share custody.  She isn't paying any rent or utilities yet since she has been on medical leave for a few months.  However she will be working part time again and will hopefully be able to help out.  She and my son share his bedroom (although they do not have a "relationship")

My mother has been living with me and helps out financially.  She has her own bedroom.

It does get a little crowded since my house is 1600 square feet but we are doing fine.

December 28, 2009 3:01 PM

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