In danger of being homeless?: help is definitely out there. Are you lost, worried, and in danger of being homeless and looking for some sort of help. Help is out there if you know where to look. Do you feel pressured by things you can’t control? Is this what you feel right now? Life is hard, and getting harder and you are doing the best you can by planning ahead and trying to figure out what you can do next. Are you getting close to being emotionally, spiritually, and/or financially bankrupt? Help is available for you, and your loved ones. Sometimes it's a layoff, heavy debt burden, marital problems/divorce, and/or foreclosure that causes the hardship, other times it's just a number of circumstances of bad luck. If you need help because you are in danger of being homeless, help is here.
- Individual things you can do. If you need to sell stuff to afford apartment rent, or take out a payday loan, or pull some hardship money out of your retirement plan (if you have one), then just do it to keep from being homeless. Remember stuff like toys, electronics, gold, jewelry, and other items don't mean that much if you don't have a roof over your head. If you are selling things, do it sooner than later so you are not desperate to take any price. Use your local Craig's List or ebay, or even an auction house BEFORE you go to a pawn broker. If you have a steady job, you can even ask for a small pay advance to be paid back over a number of pay cycles. Some bosses will do this to help.
- Family - If you done all you can do on your own, see if your family can help. Ignore any issues of pride, and be honest about your needs. Obviously start with immediate family and see if they can help, either with money, resources, or a place to stay. If this is not possible try extended family, especially if they are nearby, or if you feel that you have a good relationship. It doesn't hurt to ask!
- Friends - You should ask friends for help either with temporary housing, or perhaps some sort of small cash loan for the transition. Good friends will accommodate you, but be careful how you treat those who help you because hurt feelings can end these relationships. You may also offer to work for friends doing odd jobs so that you earn some money rather than borrow it. Friends may also have ideas about other places to stay and other resources that you may not know about.
- Churches / Synagogue - Ask clergy or staff at your place of worship about shelters, resources, loans, etc. There may even be someone in your religious community that needs a house sitter, or has plenty of room to spare, and would be happy to help. Sometimes churches or synagogues have access to social/community funds where they could help you financially with a small grant or loan so that you pay rent or get a hotel.
- Local and State Agencies, and Community Groups - Contact community groups and all of your local and state agencies for their housing and financial help. Some will have loans, grants, work/retraining opportunities, and others can provide access to men's and women's shelters. If you are a veteran of the armed forces seek out assistance from the Veteran's Affairs, inquire at VA Hospitals or Medical Centers, and also seek out Veteran's organizations like an area VFW. You might find that the institutions are useful in introducing you to someone who really wants to and can help you!
- Men’s and Women’s Shelter’s - Some shelters have walk-ins at certain hours, others do organize bus or shuttle pick-ups of homeless in specific locations in your area. Some will only be able to help with temporary shelter and a meal, but not always provide a bed-- based on demand.
- Find a Work Situation that includes Housing - Seek out opportunities where the work is tied to some sort of free housing. This could be a live-in caretaker for an elderly or partially disabled person, or a maintenance or supervisor in a building or condo association. With this situation, be creative... if you have a talent for indoor painting, or fixing things, offer to do odd jobs in place of rent, especially on buildings where you have seen a VACANCY sign for quite some time.
- Split up Family Temporarily - If you are in danger of being homeless as a family, consider the difficult, but often necessity of temporarily splitting up the family into groups. If the kids can stay with relatives, while you work on a longer term solution-- you (and your partner) might be able to crash with friends and make a faster return to your previous living standard.
- Motel or Hotel: Extended Stay - Many small hotels and motels, especially in less-trafficked area have reasonable long-term rates.... weekly, or monthly. Scrape together any money you can to pay for a few days, while you continue to work on other alternatives. It might be possible to work some hours doing odd jobs to pay for your weekly rent until you turn your life around.
- So, these ideas could be useful if things get worse and you find yourself homeless. If this is the NOT the case yet, try to save money and resources in case you need them later to get through the crisis. Remember everyone knows that it will eventually "rain" in their life, but some people refuse to get an umbrella! If you're situation is serious, be careful and do not waste money until the trouble passes.
If you are in danger of being homeless, help is out there. Don't lose hope -- and don't worry about what others think, or that you feel like you have failed. Everyone has setbacks in their life - sometimes very serious obstacles. With luck, your struggles will be brief, and bearable -- and they will help you better appreciate the other gifts in your life. Don't let the danger of being homeless break your spirit!