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 homelessness 
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Lite Four
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Today I went to a garage sale to scout for Pokemon cards (and wow, I actually found some here!) and heard one of the saddest stories of my life. I know homelessness isn't uncommon, nor is this the worst situation, but I'm from a small town and I have never seen a homeless person. Around here things just aren't like that, and I'm not from the big city. So, here's the story...

This lady, who is friends with my mom, has a son who is probably about 14 or 15 now. She lives in poverty big time, never having much to begin with and being a single mom. After being let go from a job (mistakes happen) she started working about 15 hours a week at a laundry mat for minimum wage. She walks about a mile to work every day because she has no car, which she sticks out for months in the winter (winter is forever here). One day she gets very sick, and with no car, she walks two miles to the hospital. Turns out she had pneumonia and had to be in the hospital overnight and the next day. Her boss is a real dickwad and fired her for it, so there goes her job. She can't find anything within the next few months, then her landlord gets tired of it and throws her out. Now, she's trying to sell all her and her son's things to get some money. They're trying to sell everything they own. By now she's trying to hold back tears, and tells me she doesn't know what's next in life and she hopes it doesn't rain on the last day of her sale. She has to take her son, move to a community about 40 miles away, and live at a homeless shelter. In her attempt to find help she applied for welfare, but was denied.

Why does this happen to someone here? Its not fair...I didn't know what to tell her. I know her son, and he's still just a kid. How do you go through school? Tell your classmates you live at a homeless shelter? Does the bus even stop there? I haven't been able to think of anything else for hours, it's heartbreaking (especially since I know her.)

Has anyone had it this hard? I've thought my life sucks by living with my mom and her asshole boyfriend, but I'm living pretty **** high compared to that. Sure, I don't get my way, but I'm not living life like that. She has to feel awful, her son is a teenager living in a shelter. I feel spoiled, I have it so much better...

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:15 am
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I've certainly never had it as hard as the woman you described and don't think anyone on these forums has. Actually I've never really thought my life sucks. Compared to some others I guess it could be better but I never really cared. I've got it pretty damn good and I'm happy with my situation.

I'm in dowtown Toronto almost every day and I see homeless people fairly often. I see them in my part of the city too but there are much more downtown. It's sad. A lot of the time they mind their own business but if they ask me for change and I have some I'll give it, unless I need for something later. Some are scary though, particularly ones you meet on the subway late at night D:

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:50 am
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Pokemon Ranger
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Thats so sad. I've seen plenty of homeless people, but we have no pity for them because they're homeless after spending all their money on drugs and alcohol.

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:32 pm
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Pokemon Ranger
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I really hate to see homeless people living out in the streets or buildings. On my trip to New York one year I saw several homeless people out in the parks and made me sad.

Isn't there some way to get them to have some kind of shelter and food, like the homeless shelter? And if there's more they shouldn't actually reject people out. And of course they should have an actual life like everybody else. :cry:

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Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:48 pm
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Pokemon Ranger
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See what you did, you made me cry. Now when I think about my life it makes me feel like a spoiled brat. I wish i could help... it might me feel less crappy, and would make me feel good to help someone like that. Ugh, I'm bad with words, sorry if that just sounded stupid...

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Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:15 am
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Pokemon Master
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I have never had it that hard. Sure when I was living with my mom she was living paycheck to paycheck, we relied on my dad's child support to pay for my schooling, but it was never that hard. I don't know why **** like that happens to people that good. It honestly isn't fair. I don't even know what I could say to the child.

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Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:53 pm
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Bug Catcher
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Temp agencies can provide much needed jobs and they're usually willing to take anyone. Once you've saved enough money, one can find a cheap apartment to live in. Homelessness is hard, but life gets better. One of my parents was homeless and found a job temping. He's still pretty poor, but also happy.


Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:17 pm
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Ace Trainer
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That is so sad :'( Why do bad things happen to good people? It just isn't fair.

I can't say I have ever even been close to that. My dad has a fabulous job with Lockheed Martin and a hefty six figure pay check. Reading a story like makes me feel bad. Why should I have so much when they have nothing. I myself have never been poor, none of my friends are poor either. The closest I know of poverty was when my dad was eating out of dumpsters and working everyday all year to pay for university. But it is much better now. I can't even imagine what going through what that women is going through would be like. :(

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Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:03 am
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Pokemon Ranger
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It's like a quote I saw once- "I once complained about not having any shoes... Then I met a man without feet." there's always worse, unfortunately, and it's never those who deserve it.

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Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:05 am
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Art Commentator
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It's those kinds of stories that make me think about actually donating money to people. The way I see it, there are two types of empoverished people: those that lost everything due to unfortunate circumstances and deserve better, and those that ended up homless because they just blow all their money on drugs and booze. I prefer to help the former. There was this one guy I saw in San Fransisco on vacation a while back who had the right idea though. He had a cardboard sign that said "I won't lie, give me beer" on it. Honesty is always the best policy, even for alcoholics.

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Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:56 pm
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Somme1 wrote:
Temp agencies can provide much needed jobs and they're usually willing to take anyone. Once you've saved enough money, one can find a cheap apartment to live in. Homelessness is hard, but life gets better. One of my parents was homeless and found a job temping. He's still pretty poor, but also happy.

While temp agencies are a wonderful service, there is no guarantee you get work immediately, or even for months. Over a year ago when I was still living on my own and lost my job at Walmart, I applied for work at temp agencies in early January. I checked back in with them every so often, and I ended up not getting any work from them for 4 months.

Then when I had to move back here with my parents I was jobless once more, and reapplied at new agencies. I haven't been given any work from them in the past 6 months. The problem is there is a LOT of people looking for work, and have been for a long time. Priority often goes to people who have been looking longer.

In any case homelessness is an extremely frightening concept. If I didn't have a caring family I would have been out on the streets probably a month after I lost my job at Wal-Mart.

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Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:04 am
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She did something wrong... or so I hope. And I don't mean earlier in life, but in her welfare applications or the like. Imagine tax time, there are so many rules, exemptions, and dependents that it's easy to miscalculate or misinterpret. State and federal assistance programs can be like that. While you may know her, she may not be thorough... mistakes can be made.

We live in the same state, so I know unemployment and welfare laws are the same. I've heard of people who make a reasonable living off of what they do (ie they can pay their bills, buy randoms, and feed themselves) and still complain that the state only gives them so much for welfare. They literally deserve none of my tax dollars. The woman you know seems to deserve far more than the single males with full-time jobs that I know who still collect and were never denied in their lives.

It's hard to justify the system when so many people cheat it and so few who deserve it, receive it. I really feel for your friend.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:40 pm
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Dragon Tamer
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Where I live, there aren't that many. Downtown in the more rugged parts, though, there are lots. I usually have breakfast in a certain cafe, and if I have any leftovers and I see a homeless person, I usually give it to them. And then what percent of Americans get millions of dollars a year?

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Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:27 pm
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