A homeless family that doesn't want help...
What do you do when you see a homeless women with children that doesn't want help? So many people have tried to help and her story is always the same: A friend helped to get them into a hotel for a few days and they'll be going back home (out of state) within a week.
It's been a year and they're still on the street with the same story... I feel bad for the kids... What do you do?
Have you tried contacting the local Child Protective Services in your area? The local church may also be able to offer some advice and/or services. Good luck.
Perhaps the reason she refuses help is she fears losing her children. Being homeless doesn't mean she's a bad parent, it means she needs help getting back on her feet. child protective services should be reserved for cases of extreme neglect and abuse.
Without knowing more about the story; I can't really make a suggestion. I would maybe gather pamphlets and info on various job training programs and housing programs things of this nature and give them to her so she can feel she is taking initiative to help herself and isn't just a charity case or being pitied etc.
Homeless aren't criminals; they are destitute and in this current economy, often through no fault of their own. Homelessness tends to be demonized, but the truth is many homeless people are families who lost everything - not drug addicts and criminals etc. Perhaps she feels she'll be "lumped in" with them or judged and she rejects the help out of a sense of shame. She needs to feel empowered, not pitied.
"She needs to feel empowered, not pitied." I agree but she won't allow anyone to help her. She gives everyone the same story "Oh it's ok, we're leaving in a few days anwyay - we don't need the help." She seems kind and her kids are well behaved but..
As someone who not too long ago was living in a hotel with 3 children I want to make sure I say loud and clear DO NOT CALL CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES!!! Unless these kids look like they aren't eating or that they are being abused leave CPS/DSS out of it! If they are actually in a hotel and you really want to help do something like dropping food off at their hotel door or paying at the office for a week of their stay. If they aren't in a hotel and are just saying that go pay for a night at the closest hotel and take her the key saying it's already paid for. Give her a bag of snacks for the kids. If you know for sure they are sleeping literally with no shelter you can go buy a backpack and fill it with small camping gear like a tarp, camping stove, snacks, and a blanket. You can fill a thrift store bookbag with all the needed items for under $20 and it would be very useful if they literally have nothing.
My family was homeless for 7 months. Much of it was spent in a hotel because the options aren't great and we were a homeless working family. So I say as nicely as possible, don't judge her situation or the kids unless they look neglected. My kids were never taken care of less just because we didn't have a permanent home. We still took them to the park, played with them, and loved them. So being a homeless kid might be a little rough, but it doesn't mean it is all that bad.
As Christin said, She probably worried about being lumped into the generalization of drunk and drug addict homeless.
I have no intention on calling CPS. I don't want to separate children from their parents, she's all they have. They go from hotel to hotel every 2-3 days as someone pays for a room for them. I'm not judging her hun, I want them to get help w/o fear.
Then help her. Work with a local church or organization to get her into permanent housing. Take her food. Stop by your local low income housing apartments and get her an application and take it to her. There are so many ways to help her.
There is no help for low income permanent housing here - shelters are limited but there's the 1 that's willing to take them being she fled from abuse. Others have spoken with her about various resources - she refuses everything. Why??
She refuses because of ego and fear of judgment, possibly even mental illness. There are low income apartments usually in every county. I would suggest calling the housing authority and ask where closest are if not in your county.
We live in a heavily populated area. Low-income housing waiting lists are years long - they won't even add names to it anymore. I think I have to accept that she doesn't want the help - fear I'm sure but those kids don't deserve to be forced suffer.
Life is a personal journey.
You can't help those who don't want to be help.
It's unfortunate that children are involved. However it's not uncommon for people to report neglectful parents to social services. Refusing help to feed, clothe, house, and educate one's children is tantamount to child abuse in my opinion.
The children are being fed and clothed and I'm assuming most time housed in a hotel, all by random acts of kindness from various strangers. But they're not in school and receiving no medical or mental health services and it's obvious they need it.
This is what many government agencies were designed for.
I think it comes down to exactly what you said:
"You can't help those who don't want to be helped."
Let me answer my own question just to clarify a few things.
The mother is in need of medical assistance. The oldest child (teenager) is very child-like (like an 7-8 yr old) and needs mental health assistance. The middle child, just seemed starved for attention and happy someone spoke to him. The youngest seemed very attached to mom, but I believe that's normal at that age. None of these children are attending school.
My concern is that they should not be on the street. I too felt that maybe this mother is afraid of losing her children and I would never want to separate children from their mother, especially in a place where they have no family and no friends, no one to turn to. But also, this is a bad situation for these children to be in - living on the street. There are options being offered to them that do NOT involve Child Protective Services. I don't understand why she won't accept the help for her children.
They need a home, she needs an income, they need an education. They can't live like this. I don't know how long they've been on the street but I met them a year ago and still see them around, in the same situation, squatting in front of various buildings, accepting handouts, thier little bit of belongings right next to them.
The mother was indeed very kind, and she admitted she fled from an abusive relationship. But there's a shelter where we live that will take women and children in this kind of situation for an undetermined amount of time (meaning until they truly are independent.) Why won't she take this help? Those babies - it breaks my heart... God bless them...
Unless her two older children are both female, most shelters will split the mother from her male children. Also did she admit these kids aren't seeing docs or going to school or was it obvious somehow?
I spoke with that shelter and they will not separate the kids from mom. The mother has a large growth on her neck & the mental health issue was obvious with the daughter. The kids told me they're not in school & haven't been for a long time.
We pay taxes to create government agencies specifically for poor children in this country. It's really not about what this woman (wants). It's about what her children (need). A parent should do what's best for their child. This should be reported.
DashingScorpio I so agree with your statement, but... This must be what it feels like to be between a rock & a hard place... I dont want anyone to suffer... I can only be prayer about it & see what God wants me to do...
What can you do to help a homeless family? Don't want to give cash or enable bad behavior? Not a problem. Help options for anyone who wants to help, keeping in mind all budgets! read more
Hey mate i know how you feel, & how it breaks your heart to see people in their position because it does me..What most people over look i think when they see homeless people, is the amazing golden opportunity they have to completely change someone's life for the better..So what i would do is to find out that woman's actual rights asap for her, as far as financial help medical help etc that she is entitled to all wrote down very simply..I'd gather as much advice as i could, & write it all down in a small note pad for her & her kids..Find out every single penny she is entitled to which means going on line, because no government workers gonna tell you "exactly" what she's entitled to..At the same time have a few coffee's with her & gradually get to know what her ideal place would be, & what area of town she'd like to live in & what type of garden etc etc..Then work all her finances out that she's entitled to by law, & attempt to try to find her her ideal home within her budget of entitled money....I'd say that your only shot is to say to her after you get to know her over a few coffees, "come with me I'd like your advice on something", then show her her new home which she won't be able to refuse....Many peeps will have tried telling her what she needs etc over the years, but they should have shown her what she loved....I think peeps that care like you are amazing peeps but always remember, you can only do your bit you can't help everyone..So knowledge is crucial, because that lady will have more rights than she thinks..I doubt whether she would trust anyone at the moment, so you have to do it gradually & have faith that your efforts will pay off. :-)
Wow, that's the greatest advice anyone could've given! Maybe that's exactly what she needs, a plan laid out for her, limiting the unknows & giving encouragement, showing her it's possible to move up & keep her kids... You're awesome. God bles
It's always great thing to help people but it's difficult to understand whey they are not comfortable even after getting help , i think only God knows what they are searching for?
Ok #1. I agree it is not about what the Mother wants, it is about what she and the children need. You say the daughter needs mental health care. I would say the Mother does as well. She is not making good sound decisions for her children, so she probably isn't mentally capable doing this. The shelters in my area do not split up the children. However there are rules. The children must have go to school or a teacher comes to the shelter. They must help, all Mothers must do their share of chores. They receive counseling and then an evaluation as to the services they need and qualify for. They help them get these also. The children have a structured life style there. Bedtimes and hygiene is a must. They get long term help, mental health care, and an active plan to get their lives together. She has proven time and time again she will not get involved in these things.Those who know about this and do nothing more than provide a bandaid, providing nights int he motel, and food are prolonging the inevitable.It enables this situation and people are not doing what they know is the right thing to do because they want to spare the Mothers feelings. What about the children's feelings? DHS is not the monster in this type of situation. I have friends and people I know who DHS was involved with and it did wonders. The outcome is usually independence, a stronger Mother, lifted self esteem , and assertiveness that this Mother needs to provide a healthy life for her children.I know someone said DO NOT CALL DHS.. By not doing something that will make it mandatory for this Mother to get help so her children can get it also; are we as a society partly responsible for this continuing? After all we are all intelligent people who see the need; who know in our hearts what needs to happen, and we can be a tool in this. Sure at first it will be tough on the MOM but that is because obviously she doesn't know whats best or this would not be happening. If something should happen to one of these children, or the Mother and you read or hear about it and know that you knew this could happen, what part did you play as a good citizen in this happening. Someone step up to the plate and do what you know is right before it's too late and you wish you did. Don't have to later say I wish I had done more. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothings going to get better, it's not.
Wow, what you said is very powerful & thought provoking. I can't disagree with you. Peeples posted a hub about this, link above. I commented. 1 chance or I have to contact somone because you're right this is about the kids, not the mom... TY, GBY
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