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Blink Offline
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I don't know where else to put this, but I could use some help - July 8th 2009, 09:11 PM

I'm 19 years old, and for the past few years, I've been struggling with homelessness.

When I was 16, my mom wanted to start her life over, so she left my dad and ran away with an illegal immigrant. That drove my dad crazy and he left as well to find a new life of his own. As an only child, I was left on my own, unable to reach either of them.

I was left in our apartment until the landlord came by a month later to say she's sorry, but I couldn't stay there anymore... So for the remainder of high school, I lived out of my car and worked whatever jobs I could.

My parents both eventually eventually reestablished contact with me. My mom had bore the man and went back with him to Guatemala for a while, though she came back. My dad had remarried to a woman who had two kids of her own.

Struggling to make a living here in California, and barely able to support his new family, my dad moved to Phoenix Arizona. Since then, I found out he opened a credit line in my name nearly 6 years ago for a restaurant he owned. He hasn't been paying on it due to being broke himself, and the $30,000 debt has passed on to me. I called the bank and got them to freeze the payments until I can figure out what to do, but it's affecting my credit score and my dad has no money to do anything about it.

So my problem is multi-layered:
1) I'm still homeless, even 3 years later. I can get decent paying jobs, such as $12 an hour, and I did finish highschool despite my situation, but I keep losing my jobs for one reason or another. 3/4 of the last places I've worked have shut down due to the economy, and the 4th was a minimum wage paying job that I couldn't stand.

2) A large part of me wants to blame my parents and I become envious of people who have a roof over their head and their parents pay their bills and going to college is so easy for them... but at the same time, I bring myself back by blaming myself for not being more independent and capable. I don't know what to think.

3) I fear for my mental health. When help is offered, I start over-analyzing it and talk myself out of things like sleeping on a someone's couch, granted I never know the people who offer well. I don't have any very good friends left or alive who can help me. I'm not an extroverted person and tend to keep few quality friends. But the reason I fear for myself mentally is because I feel like I can't trust anyone and I want to get away from almost everybody. And I'm afraid of sacrificing what little I do have for someone else.

4) I want to create and make great things, but I don't even have a way to make my next car payment, let alone anything else.

I don't know what advice I'm looking for. I don't think there's much more advice to be given than "keep your chin up". Unemployment ran out, food stamps are my only survival tool right now. I don't know what to do anymore.
   
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Re: I don't know where else to put this, but I could use some help - July 9th 2009, 06:43 PM

Hi Blink,

It does sound like you are in a really tough situation that you didn't get yourself into. It was wrong of your parents to just leave you like that with nothing. That must have been really hard. I am very proud of you for doing what you were able to in order to take care of yourself and also finish school. You are a very strong person to have been able to do that.

What your dad has done with that credit account in your name is identity theft. He was not allowed to do that and leave you with the debt. I suggest you make an appointment with your bank as soon as you possibly can to talk about this. Tell them that you did not open this account, your dad has bought all of this stuff in your name, and that he has accumulated all of this debt. Tell them there is no way you bought all of that stuff, and that your dad has been using you unjustly. I know he is struggling with a new family now, but that doesn't mean you need to take all of his debt. That is not right or fair to you. Ask the bank what your options are to get this dealt with.

I also suggest you do some research and find out how you can apply for government aid. Jobs are difficult to come by in these economic times, and already you don't have a place to stay. Do what you can to apply for support payments to help you out.

Being homeless is tough and you do need to watch out for yourself. Sometimes being overly nervous is a way to stay safe. Just do your best to stay calm and make decisions based on your judgment and what makes you comfortable. If you don't want to stay at someone's house that you don't know very well, that is fine. But if you do know someone enough to know that they are safe people to be around, then maybe try taking the offer every now and again. However, if you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation, get yourself out no matter what and call the police.

Also, know where your city's homeless shelter is, if you don't already. It can be a safe roof over your head if you need one.

Don't give up on your schooling either. I know that some governments have applications for grants or open up programs and apprenticeships. Find a library and get on a computer and do what research you can to find out what your options are.

And don't give up! Keep your chin up and stay strong. You've come a long way for having to bring yourself up, and that is a huge accomplishment.

Take care of yourself.

Nat.


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