What to do when the world rains down on you… What can you do if you find yourself losing your shirt. Maybe finding yourself with no help and nowhere to go. What if you’re forced out of where you live, having to start all over again, with nothing. I’ve been very close to this very situation earlier in life. More than once I was stranded far from home, little to no money, sometimes with my car blowing an engine… Post divorce, I had to leave my home behind and everything in it, taking only my personal effects packed tightly into my car. It’s a scary and often overwhelming situation. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the rope.
I pray you never have to experience life like this, but if you do…you need to get things in order very quickly. Every resource is strained and there may be very little to work with, but you can navigate your way out of it. Take an inventory immediately. What do you have? Who do you know? What skills do you have?
If you’re in a situation that may render you homeless in a few weeks, the first thing to do is to see if there are any prevention or assistance programs near you. Do a search on the Internet, and if you don’t have access to the Internet, find the closest public library. Look up
I’ve compiled a list of resources to assist you below:
The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected.
A list of legal aid broken down by state.
This is one guys take on being homeless, he brings up a lot of things you might have thought about, not the most inspirational story, but well worth the read for awareness.
A ministry of service that includes nearly 16,000 paid, professional employees dedicated to helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential.
Through our hundreds of human service programs, including housing and healthcare, Volunteers of America touches the lives of more than 1.4 million people in over 400 communities in 46 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico each year.
The list is certainly not exhaustive, but will hopefully get you started if you need help. If you can get access to the Internet even at a library, go to Google, and type “homeless assistance or shelter” into the search field. Once you’ve hit “search,” click on the map. The map will show you providers in your area and where they are located in your city. At that point, you’ve got options to get directions by bus, car, or on foot. Most often the phone number will be listed by each provider’s listing.
Once you manage to get back on your feet a bit, keep a tight control on your budget, strive to live below your means, and even if you need to work extra hours or a 2nd job, try to start saving at least 10-20% of your income for future emergencies. Being homeless is a scary situation, and it can be a bumpy ride, but one thing vital to remember, homelessness is a temporary condition, not a label you wear. You are not a homeless person, but rather, someone who through circumstance, has found themselves in a homeless condition.