Are Most Homeless People Drunks or Drug Addicts ~ Myths About Homeless People
Myths About Homeless People
- Homeless people are drunks who will spend any money you give them on alcohol
- Homeless people are drug addicts who use all their money on drugs
- Homeless people are just middle aged men
- Homeless people are just lazy
- Homeless people are criminals
- Homeless people don't want to work
- Homeless people just got to dependent on welfare
- Helping homeless people just makes them stay homeless and dependent.
- Homeless people chose to be homeless
- There are plenty of programs to help homeless get on their feet
My Homeless Family
So as much as it hurts my ego to admit it, my family is currently homeless. Over the last week I have seen a lot of talk in various forums about homeless people, beggars, and the the holiday season. It sickens me to read some of the things people say about homeless. So I decided I would put a little more of myself out there in hopes of showing people a few misconceptions about homeless families.
One year ago we were an average middle class family. My husband had a great job with great benefits and a 401k with 6 months of emergency fund in it. I had a work from home position that while not great paying it allowed me to stay home with my children. We've always been frugal. I coupon, we rarely ate out, we never owned more than one vehicle at a time because there was no need for the extra expense, and we cut corners to recycle and reuse anything we could. We did not collect welfare. We were not drunks. We were not drug addicts. We were and still are far from lazy. (is it even possible to be lazy with three kids?).
In February of this year my husband woke in horrible pain in his face. The kind of pain that made him drop to the floor in agony. After a very long trip to the hospital and a couple of follow up appointments he was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. A nerve condition that sends sharp stabbing pains all over the face. He went on temporary disability while they got medication figured out, When he got back to his job he was fired for missing too many days (mind you he was really sick these 5 days before the temp disability was approved). So after 3 years, my husband was suddenly without a job, or benefits to pay for his newly acquired $300 a month medication. He was denied for unemployment benefits because it was his fault (by missing 5 days of work) he was terminated.
That 6 month reserve was gone in 3 months. I got a second job, but the pay is only 1/4 of what he use to get paid. He job searched every day. At the end of October he finally landed a job through a temporary company. Now being homeless for several months we were very excited. Unfortunately 2 weeks after being on the job, my husband was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. Turns out he was so excited about the job he walked around for over a week with a ruptured appendix which had abscessed on his colon. Needless to say the excitement about maybe getting a place to live before Christmas was and is all gone. Temporary companies don't keep you. If you aren't there to fill the position, they get the next person. Once he is fully recovered he will be back on the job search again.
So We Choose To Be Homeless Because We Love Getting Welfare?
This is probably the one that irks me the most. Why? Well because you get one person who goes out and talks to 10 homeless people and "discovers" that they all like being able to get welfare while doing nothing for themselves. This is B.S.!
The facts about homeless people -
- Only 37% of homeless collect "food stamps"
- Only 30% of homeless get "free healthcare" otherwise known as Medicaid/Medicare
- Only 8% of homeless panhandle for money
- 27% of homeless lived in foster care, a group home, or other institutional setting for part of their childhood.(myself included in this group)
- 25% report childhood physical or sexual abuse.(another group I fall into)
- 44% of homeless have actually worked in the last 30 days
- 39% report mental illness issues
- 28%-41% of homeless are families with children
The Real Faces of Homelessness!
What is the Cost of Moving Just Covering The Basics?
- First months rent - $600
- Deposit - $600
- Electricity Deposit - $200
- Water Deposit - $100
- Gas Deposit - $250
These are costs that are almost impossible to do when working when you take into account that paying for a hotel on cold nights or food still having to be bought. For some of us who are lucky enough we also have to pay for storage for our belongings.
Use Your Brain Please
So next time you think that people who are homeless are just lazy people, I beg you to give up your home for a week and see how much work it is being homeless. Next time you think we believe it is easier to just live off welfare remember there are people like us who have yet to collect anything from the government ( though I did break down this week and apply for food stamps, I know, I know, I'm just mooching off you). The next time you think helping the homeless will hurt them, return to this page and look at my three children's faces. So blame the "liberals" for the welfare country that has been made, or blame the conservatives I really don't care. If you haven't been homeless chances are you won't truly understand.
Now let me go get back to being so lazy, as I begin my 50 hour work week!
We are no longer homeless!! YAY! My husband is working a good job with potentials for growth. I am no longer working 50 hours a week due to some troublesome medical diagnosis I got a few months ago. He is back to being the primary earner in our home as my health gets worse and his gets better. Our income is still far from what it once was, but we are surviving, paying bills, raising our family, and getting back on track!
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