The fast track toward homelessness

7 years ago

I have $10.77 to my name and four children to feed. My net worth was 20 more , until I realized a calculation error I had made in forgetting about the money I had put in my Gas tank days prior. I wonder if this is what the fast track to homelessness looks like. For the last two years I have robbed Peter to pay Paul. Yes, I live in a middle class home. I am employed, and I do not do drugs.My kids are bright and beautiful, and if you met them you would not know about any of their circumstances because I have instructed them not to share them. I have had two years of finanical hardship. In years past, I had a 401K, a Savings Account, and enough money in checking to cover approximately two months of bills.

The road to my financial ruin started when my husband returned from Iraq. He was injured and sat at home for eight months going through multiple surgeries and daily physical therapy, while receiving no income. My income has never been enough to sustain us alone. So I used credit cards to keep us fed, and the bills paid. When my husband retuned to work he spent the next year being more unemployed than employed. No, he has not shown me any motivation that he is trying to do something different. I spend many days fighting with him, or simply not speaking to him at all.

Recently I informed my husband that since I was the only one with an income, I will choose the best way to sustain us which will include selling off everything we have before we lose our home. My children have Ipods, Laptops, and other various valuables. What kind of mother am I if I have to ask them to sacrifice them to put food on the table, or keep lights on for yet another month ?

The contribution to the problem I believe also comes from my employer. My employer, is also known as my brother-in-law. My own sisters' husband. He recruited me to work for him three years ago by promising to match the salary I was making with my employer at the time and give me five % of Gross Profit. My first paycheck three years ago was less than my old job and to date he has never paid me what he promised, given me a raise or ANY percentage of profit. He has simply fattened his own pockets. He gave himself a Christmas bonus that was 85% more than mine, and has recently increased his salary by 50%. The few times I have spoken to my own sister about my money problems...I get "We will pray for you." I am disgusted by this and I want to tell her exactly what she can do with those prayers.

Today was actually my payday. I chose to pay the mortgage, the heating bill, and one of our car payments. I applied for food stamps yesterday. This is my second time applying. I was denied the first time just a couple of months ago. I guess I am just hoping a new year will mean new guidelines.

When we picture hunger in America, in the past we all probably imagined a dirty faced child standing on the steps of the shack he lived in. Today, I believe there are probably thousands out there just like myself.

This is the part where I swallow my pride, throw in the towel and brace my family for whatever measures we have to take next to survive.



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