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Old 11-27-2015, 11:13 AM   #21
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I am very sorry to hear your situation. I don't know what I would do if I were in your situation. It sounds sort of like a drug addiction - The person who is in trouble (in your case your cousin) needs to wake up and decides to help herself for her long term well-being before others can begin to help her. If I were in her shoes (and ready to help myself out of the hole), I would definitely have some plans and pitch them to my family members and say something like "I would need 2 weeks worth of hotel money/gas/food and within that period, I can accomplish this and this..." I would probably insist on knowing her detailed plans before I give her any money anyway. And I would definitely help someone who is trying different venues to get out of the hole, but with some conditions (no more money if you don't meet 1 and 2, etc...) Your cousin is still be in denial at this point, however.. I imagine it's not easy to learn the value of a dollar when one has been a spender all her life.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:25 AM   #22
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I am sorry that you are going through this situation. It is not easy and especially with a relative who has always worked and been a generous person. I can see why you would feel awful.

Many of my DH siblings, have borrowed money from us in the past and have never repaid us. We have helped pay for an attorney for one brother. We bought him boots, prison tv and cards for snacks and toiletries, when he was in prison. My DH would drive for several hours to visit him while he was in prison. He does not contact my DH at all since he was released. Family called DH when he overdosed and was in hospital. DH immediately went to the hospital and spoke with doctors and authorities. He did not get to talk with brother, since he was out. Nephew, who is in his late 30s, contacted me via Facebook asking for $300 because of problems he was having. We have not seen this nephew since he was in his teens. He wanted the money just for a week or two. We felt sorry for him and sent him $200.00 via Western Union. This was a couple of months ago and we do not expect that we will ever get this money back either. It is hard to know what to do. You don't want to enable people, but you do feel like you should help out family in times of need. Then, I look at the other side of the coin. Is it fair to waste money that could be left to your own family, who have worked hard and taken care of themselves and their own family. It is not an easy decision. Good luck and I hope that she gets the care that she needs.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:50 AM   #23
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Tough story, sorry you have to go through this. I have a fear of being the fallback for a couple family members who don't really do any planning for the future. A bad break or two and they could be in trouble, and I wonder what I'd do. It's easy to take a theoretical hard line, harder to do when it happens in real life.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:31 PM   #24
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Hard time of year to be faced with both hardship on your cousin's part and guilt from choosing not to help out. Ha, the fact that your cousin checked herself into the hospital suggests to me that your paying for her lodging for a week would not really have been much help to her--presumably there was some screening element she had to meet before the hospital would admit her, so she will be getting some help there for psychological issues, and may also be able to get some social services help from the hospital staff too toward figuring out where she goes from here as there should be a social worker involved at some point. Tough spot, but this decision of hers to go to a hospital might turn out to be a good decision.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:13 PM   #25
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I have seen a recurring pattern:

Starting point- having bottomed out.
Work for a living, get it figured out, start to make ends meet.
Take on side ventures, start a business, big plans for the future.
Decide there is too much potential in the new business, ditch the old frumpy job, expand the new enterprise.
Get tired of the new thing, realize it takes a lot more to replace the income and benefits that came from the old frumpy job, go deeper into debt. Start to mooch off relatives.
Burn through relatives, max out credit cards, leave town in the middle of the night, declare bankruptcy.
Relocate several states away, repeat.

I have seen several folks do this, one in particular has done this maybe 6 times? Cycle time is about 4 to 6 years.

When they are in the mode of mooching, all the donated money does is prolong the time that it takes for the creditors to catch up to them. It doesn't matter how much money you could give them, it would never break the cycle.

I know two of these folks that were pretty good at doing the frumpy (normal) jobs, and could have done well at life if they would have just did the job. But I suspect that underneath it all they felt working for a living like that was not enough. They wanted to be the boss, they wanted to manage from a distance, they wanted to sit back and let others make the money for them. In the end, they were not willing to put in the effort required to make their business ventures successful. Without the sweat equity, their businesses imploded.

I heard one person describe it as 'Work just doesn't agree with them.'
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:22 PM   #26
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I have worked with the homeless folks in this area for over 5 years and most of their personal tales are vary tough to listen to. What I have found to be of comfort to many of them is just to reach out, show your genuine concern and love for them and simply ask what you can do to make today a better day for them. Simple works best.
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:22 PM   #27
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Your cousin will qualify for general assistance which is for poor, single non-working, adults and is usually $200/month for 3 months. If she has a mental illness she can apply for either SSI or SSDI (depends if she has 40 quarters of work), low income housing, food stamps, $ to help pay her rent (section 8 rent assistance), etc. She needs a social worker that can help with these items. You might be able to help by calling her & seeing if she has a social worker, etc.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:08 PM   #28
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Always a hard situation and most families have at least one such story.
True, and I find tremendous variability among those stories.

My BIL is a case in point. Extremely intelligent and quite hard working (runs his own one-man business) putting in at least 10 hours a day at it. Totally dedicated to his shop. He is hopeless as a businessman (probably hasn't made an annual profit in over a decade) but thinks he is actually a renowned expert in his field and refuses even to listen to well-meant advice.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:09 PM   #29
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... I know two of these folks that were pretty good at doing the frumpy (normal) jobs, and could have done well at life if they would have just did the job. But I suspect that underneath it all they felt working for a living like that was not enough. They wanted to be the boss, they wanted to manage from a distance, they wanted to sit back and let others make the money for them. In the end, they were not willing to put in the effort required to make their business ventures successful. Without the sweat equity, their businesses imploded.

I heard one person describe it as 'Work just doesn't agree with them.'
True, some people just do not want to work, period.

Heck, we ERs do not want to work either.

However, we paid our dues first.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:16 PM   #30
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I forgot to add that at the last megacorp, I saw many people there who did not want to work. They got their paycheck by pretending to work.

Some people do not believe that Wally character in Dilbert cartoons exists in real life, but then they have not worked at this place. Amazing! How do you think Scott Adams got the idea?
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:49 PM   #31
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haha, so sorry to hear you and your cousin are going through this. Like Tailgate I also have a nephew who, while not homeless, has been majoring in Fraternity since 1971. He has a major in marketing and is working as a cashier in a grocery store, always about one step away from homelessness. While he hasn't asked me for money, I'm pretty sure he knows what the answer would be.

As others have suggested I think giving your cousin money would not help in the long term and would only prolong the inevitable. She needs to come to terms with herself and do what social services there suggests to get herself on her own feet.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:10 PM   #32
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Its unfortunate, especially since your not close and don't really know how she got where she is. I still feel great empathy as my current bf was almost homeless and I'm sure they would have said all the same things about him, but also didn't understand he couldn't afford his ADD medication and without it, he was unemployable, his case is very very bad and he couldn't even maintain a mcdonalds type job because he was very forgetful, uncoordinated, and couldn't think straight without it. without a job, there is no insurance, with no insurance there is no drugs since you can't get drugs like that without see a psych doctor and then the drugs itself can be hundreds a month...Just an example, because once I got him medicated, his life turned completely around and is now Director at a company and very successful.

ie if they checked into the psych ward, maybe there is something behind their issues... if they are willing to share, you could always listen, if they are not willing to share, there is really nothing you can do and you would just be throwing away good money as its likely they are not getting the help they need and the issue will continue. If they kept a job before and now can't, who knows it could be untreated depression or something like that too.. many things cause massive downward spirals that not everyone can just pull themselves out of.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:49 PM   #33
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Ha...It pulls on your guilt strings. Between a rock and a hard spot. Your cousin has worn her welcome thin with the other relatives and she has moved on to you. You did OK by helping once and setting the rules that once is enough. I hate it when people inflict themselves on others.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:26 PM   #34
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I have worked with the homeless folks in this area for over 5 years and most of their personal tales are vary tough to listen to. What I have found to be of comfort to many of them is just to reach out, show your genuine concern and love for them and simply ask what you can do to make today a better day for them. Simple works best.
+1

Ha,

Sorry for your situation. It is frustrating that after careful thought and consideration of all of the possibilities that is nothing helpful to be done.

Is it me, or do you run into this more and more as you get older?
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:29 PM   #35
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I have seen a recurring pattern:

...I know two of these folks that were pretty good at doing the frumpy (normal) jobs, and could have done well at life if they would have just did the job. But I suspect that underneath it all they felt working for a living like that was not enough. They wanted to be the boss, they wanted to manage from a distance, they wanted to sit back and let others make the money for them. In the end, they were not willing to put in the effort required to make their business ventures successful. ...'
They wrote a song for these funny, sad people:

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Old 11-27-2015, 08:13 PM   #36
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I stumbled across a couple of blogs written by women in their 50s who lived in a van or car by choice. One lost her job when her small store-owner employer closed down because of a flood, and she did not want to leave the small town to look for jobs elsewhere. Another quit her job and moved out of her apartment because she was tired of working. At one point, she managed to get a full-time unspecified office job, but quit after a month or two because she did not like the work and rather lived in her van, and did some odd jobs.

I have always tried to understand how people chose such lifestyle, hence I found these blogs interesting. They wrote fluently, sounded educated, and appeared to be of normal mind. In the end, I still could not understand.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:09 PM   #37
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I stumbled across a couple of blogs written by women in their 50s who lived in a van or car by choice. One lost her job when her small store-owner employer closed down because of a flood, and she did not want to leave the small town to look for jobs elsewhere. Another quit her job and moved out of her apartment because she was tired of working. At one point, she managed to get a full-time unspecified office job, but quit after a month or two because she did not like the work and rather lived in her van, and did some odd jobs.

I have always tried to understand how people chose such lifestyle, hence I found these blogs interesting. They wrote fluently, sounded educated, and appeared to be of normal mind. In the end, I still could not understand.
Hmmm, I guess if I were single and kidless/had launched kids, I could dig it. What does it take to make me happy? A certain amount of freedom, a dog or two, hunting/camping/fishing gear, decent food, some booze. Can do all that is a luxurious van or small RV.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:16 PM   #38
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Surely, I can understand that. And I also found a blog by an Iowan who literally lives in a van by the river because he likes to fish. He does job stints lasting a month or two at a time to get some money, then goes back to fishing.

The above two women are not in as good financial shape though. The one living in a metro city once admitted to go picking empty cans out of public trash cans to exchange for cash.
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Old 11-27-2015, 10:21 PM   #39
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By the way, I hear again in my mind that song "Il est libre, Max" ( "He is free, Max") that I posted a while back.

It is here: http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ml#post1445657.

Il travaille un petit peu quand son corps est d'accord / He works a little when his body agrees to it
Pour lui faut pas s'en faire, il sait doser son effort / For he does not push hard, he paces himself
Dans le panier de crabes, il joue pas les homards / In a basket of crabs, he does not pretend to be a lobster
Il cherche pas tout prix faire des bulles dans la mare / He does not stir up trouble at all cost
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Old 11-28-2015, 02:11 AM   #40
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She signed herself into a general hospital psych ward. Everyone hopes that a good social worker will place her and get the assistance applications going. She is too weird to survive long on the street.
It sounds from this that she probably has a diagnosable mental disorder. If she has private insurance, it is hard to stay very long because they only authorize a few days at time and basically the patient has to be either suicidal or dangerous to others or self. If she doesn't have private insurance and has either Medicaid or is indigent without Medicaid then someone still has to approve the admission to the hospital.

In other words, you can't just sign yourself in. Once in the hospital different hospitals may treat release differently.

For example, where I live, the hospitals I've had dealings with (for a family member) won't just release a patient to the streets. However, one hospital would simply put the patient on the bus to the homeless shelter. If the patient is on Disability or has income then the hospital will try to find something like a group home or transitional living. But, that does take $600 or $700 a month for room and board. Without any money, then a homeless shelter may be the only option.

Sometimes that can be the best option. Family members coming in to rescue someone can end up enabling. Even when someone has a mental illness, the person can often do things to help themselves. But if someone enables them so they don't have to change or take their illness seriously, then they don't end up helping themselves. Sometimes, it is having to go to a homeless shelter that can motivate someone to try to get help and to change.
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