Single father casualty of recession
June 02, 2010 | 08:03 AM
I am a single father that has become another casualty of the recession. I always prided myself on working hard, paying my bills, and being a good father. My ex-wife has psychiatric and drinking problems so I have full custody of my kids. They are 8, 12, and 14. I have done everything I could to bring these kids up right without any help from their mother. My own mother watched them for me when I had a job.
Now I find myself laid off. Our gas has been shut off for a month now and we are about to be evicted. I was never able to have any savings as every penny I earned went to rent, utilities, food, and clothing for my children. I am not a drinker or a smoker. We live very frugally. My mother has been bringing over casseroles because she knows we do not have enough food. My Mother is living on Social Security and just makes end meet. I have applied for assistance but I am on a waiting list. I never dreamed it would be so hard to find a good job. There are a lot of people trying to get a job. Everyone has the same story I do. They just want to provide for their families. Could you please help my family through this rough time?
Father Wanting to Work
This single father was struggling to raise his three children on his own. After speaking to him in person I saw how devoted he was to his family. His children are all well mannered and loving. They all hugged their dad goodbye when they left to go to their grandmothers so we could talk. He did not want his children to hear how worried he was about their impending homelessness and financial stress. I commended him on his decision to not share his financial stress with them. They questioned him when the gas was disconnected but he told them the gas company had made a mistake. He knew he would have to tell them the truth soon but he felt so ashamed. They were using their grill and microwave to cook hot dogs or macaroni and cheese. Thank goodness the children were enrolled in the free breakfast and lunch program at school. That was all they had to eat other than cereal or the food his mother prepared for them. Weekends and now summer vacation in a few weeks would be impossible for him. The children were taking showers and doing laundry at the grandmother's apartment.
We sat down to speak in his small but tidy kitchen. I commented on how clean everything was and he said his children were all a big help. He said he devoted over half of every day to job hunting. He also helped his mother daily at her apartment several blocks away. He is a very caring son and shows up to take out her trash, fix her leaking faucets, etc. I suggested they move in together for now. He said she always says she does not want to be a burden to him. He does not want to burden her either. I asked if he would mind if I asked her if she would share living arrangements. It seemed like they did not want to talk about either of their needs to each other. I assured him his mother would see they would be helping each other, not just her needing his daily care. He agreed to let me try. He called his mother and asked her if she could walk the kids home.
When he introduced me to his mother, she looked confused. She asked, "Are you the man who helps people in the newspaper?" I answered, "Yes I am." Then she questioned me, "Why are you here?" Her son took her hands and said, "Mom, he's here because I need help." She said, "I knew you were having some financial problems and lost your job but you never told me how bad it was. Why didn't you tell me?" She started to cry. He put his head in his hands and also began to cry. He told her how he felt he had failed his family. How their utilities were disconnected, it wasn't just a mistake made by the gas company. He told her he was two months behind on his rent and confessed to her how bad things really were. I asked the mother if she would ever think of them moving in together.
As she wiped away her tears, she said, "I would love it." The son looked at her in surprise. She said to him, "To be living with you and my grandchildren would be a God send to my heart and my entire life." They hugged each other and it was decided they would move in together as soon as possible. The children were happy to hear they would be living with the grandmother they so dearly loved.
The Time Is Now to Help paid the sons past due rent. The landlord traded some work on the property in exchange for another month in the future. We had the gas utility turned back on. I also networked a job for this man.
The last time I visited this family they were all happy to report the father loved his job. It did not pay as well as his previous employment but it enables him and his mother pay all their utility bills.
I truly feel this is a hard working, loving family that needed some help both financially and with communicating. Now they know they have to remain truthful and honest with each other. They cannot hide when they need help from each other or be afraid to just ask for assistance when needed. The Time Is Now To Help is asking for your assistance at this time. We find ourselves unable to help the many turning to us in their time of need. We have many people on the verge of eviction and living with disconnected utilities. We are asking for your support so we can continue our mission of compassion. Thank you for Caring and Sharing.
Together we can make a big difference helping our fellow creations of God.
Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C.
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