Kindness of Friends

Joe is a homeless person who has lived by his wits and on the margin of society his whole life. When I met him, he was living in a friend’s apartment and had a sweet deal. Live rent-free and have spending money in exchange for taking care of all household duties and any errands his friend needed. Joe was an executive assistant. This arrangement worked while his friend needed help.  Now, his friend has met a girl and is moving in with her. Joe needs to find an apartment he can afford.


Joe’s friend gave him notice and promised to pay the rent for three months; then, Joe had to take over paying the rent or find an alternative. The three months had come and gone, and Joe had run out of time. He is due out of the apartment in two weeks. His landlord had told him he needed to vacate the apartment unless he came up with the month’s rent. Joe was in trouble! What to do, where to turn, who to call?? The issue of where to live had become dire. He started to make plans, call his friends, ask for help, beg to stay for another month.
Joe had no job and no prospects. He believed that the Lord would provide, and his calling was to spread the gospel through YouTube vignettes to all believers. He had been spending time on his calling and ignoring the fact he needed a paying job and a permanent fix to his living problems.
Trying to stay in the current apt at $1800/mo is unrealistic. Joe cannot afford the rent, and he has no prospects for a paying job. He has to vacate the apartment by the end of September. He was given two weeks by his former friend to find a new place?? He has three days now. He needs an apartment that would be cheaper, and he could get reduced or free rent in exchange for his apt manager services. But, with time running out, where can he find such an apartment.


Another few weeks went by while Joe applied to jobs and met with scams and disappointments. Next, Joe asked, begged, and cajoled his friends to help him in his time of need. He found a couple of short-term paying projects and was able to keep body and soul together. Finally, Joe had to vacate the apartment. Somehow he got all his stuff into storage at a friend’s house, and he moved into his car. He lived in his car, ate at a Taco Bell (spending $5/day), and was able to shower and shave by using a friend’s gym membership at a local gym.
Meanwhile, Joe was scrambling to find a permanent solution to his housing problem. He finally found an apartment where he could live for free in exchange for his maintenance services at an apartment complex. Last I heard from Joe; he was waiting to move in while that apartment was being fixed and painted. Joe had found a solution to his homeless situation.
The final update: the apartment didn’t pan out, and Joe is back to living out of his car while he finds a solution. He has lost his cell phone, lives out of his car, and gets to clean up and stay at a friend’s house for a few days. Joe is living by his wits and depends on the kindness of his friends.

Selfishness & Addiction

The selfishness of a person who has a physical dependence is something that most of us do not understand. The addiction can manifest itself at any time. The person who drinks becomes another person. There is a total transformation. The person who is an alcoholic will always find an excuse to drink. The story changes, but the outcome is the same: The drunk will be drunk no matter what.


“It’s always everyone’s fault but your own”


It’s always everyone’s fault but your own, there is an excuse to start drinking, someone was mean to me, the pressures of the new job, the demands of the old job, my family hates me. Sometimes we can’t let go of the past; we recollect done-wrong incidents done to us as a little child and carry that anger and pity. Another excuse to drink.

The addicted can drink to celebrate a promotion, graduation from college, finishing a particularly long and arduous project. Using the opportunity to drink and celebrate the occasion. The drink gets out of control, and soon you have a person on a bender for several days. Meanwhile, the family, the job, eating, working, daily tasks, getting up, etc. are meaningless and not needed. This negative spiral can last a few days until the person is not able to function, and someone else needs to get them to stop drinking and sober up.


Woe is me, look how unhappy I am; the addicted can drink to drown his sorrows, to lay blame on loved ones, or anyone else in their lives. He drinks for everything that is wrong with his life. Everyone but he has done something wrong to put him there. Furthermore, the addict probably has an inner voice that is telling her what to say and do, how to act, lie, cheat, and steal to keep getting what they want. To feed the addiction. It’s a self-fulfilling spiral that feeds on itself. Recriminations and laying blame come out, and the people who love and care about the addicted are the ones caught in the crossfire. Drinking is a way to drown the sad voice inside for a little while, at least. Alcohol is a way to escape the hopelessness of the situation. Drinking to shut the angry voice that’s telling me that I’m inadequate and that I will never amount to anything. Drinking because I could. Someone who loves me will always be there to pick me up when I’m done. Loved ones are usually left to pick up the pieces after one of these binges. Loved ones are generally the enablers because they are blind to the situation. And, they feel powerless to do something about it without hurting the addicted.

That little voice can sometimes be cruel and get us to do something rash, impulsive such as driving drunk at high speed, take pills, or try other methods of hurting oneself. These are cries for help that loved ones need to recognize and get professional help for the individual. In the end, the need for getting help must be real. If the person does not believe she has a problem, she will not do something about it.

The person must hit rock bottom and has nowhere to go but up. The individual must accept that she has a problem and needs help. Then, and only then, will the person seek real advice and start the long road to recovery. A person in an AA meeting told me that she only opened her eyes to her drinking problem after her parents kicked her out of their house and their lives. Do you know how difficult that was, how guilty those parents must have felt? It goes against the grain to practice tough love on a child of yours that has this huge problem. But, doing that took courage and left the young woman to deal with the problem by herself and made the problem real to her.

I titled this piece “selfish drunk” and started by talking about the selfishness of someone with an addiction. The person will lie, cheat, steal, blow off friends, family and coworkers, job, school. Anything to get what they want. The loved must be strong and not enable the addicted to continue the pattern of self-destruction. Recognizing an addiction by a loved one is just as important as the person himself recognizing the need to help. Therapy, medication, and AA meetings are needed to get the person to stop this harmful and damaging behavior. Only with a lot of professional treatment and a robust support system does the person with an addiction have a chance to get her addiction under control and manageable. 

First Blog

This is our Foster at Risk Blog

The name chosen to identify us. It is part of our goals and part of our community. Foster Youth At Risk . . . Of aging out of the sytem and entering adulthood without a safety net to ensure they are successful in life.


This is our FAR blog – Foster Youth at Risk. This small post is the first of many to come. We want to make sure a growing crisis in the foster system is being addressed. With the continuing Opioid crisis and more kids being added to the Foster Care system, there is a growing need to make sure those kids are being prepared for life.

This is the same as a young adult (living at home) would be prepared to finish high school, go to college, get a trade, move out, and get their own place and their own first job. All within the safety of a family support system.

This initiative will mirror such a system as it exists within a normal, working household in America.


This blog will be used to document the journey of our “Foster Youth at Risk” That we will be helping to enter adulthood with a set of tools to make their journey easier.

What is our mission?? To provide the very best set of tools to make the transition to adulthood easier. To ensure our Youth make it through the transition from the Foster system to Adulthood. This is through educating, advising, advocating, counseling and monitoring.

How will we contribute: Provide seminars at the local high school, library of community college on life skills such as finances, college applications, resources available, housing resources, one on one mentoring.

Partners in Warwick: Local organizations that provide services or otherwise help Foster Youth at Risk. especially those that have not been adopted yet or are bouncing from foster home to foster home without clear family support.

They are at risk of becoming another statistic


Goals:

Make sure no youth ends up homeless, addicted to drugs, prostitution, runaway, in trouble, in jail, or worse.

Educate, support, and monitor them to ensure 100% success.


These are the main goals of our new organization. We are in the planning and engaging stage and will update you as our objectives are met. 

Right now, we are developing a business plan and applying for a non-profit designation. Next, I will engage local non-profits and charities involved with Foster Youth and develop a plan to work together. Then, get in touch with foundations and government organizations about funding, resource donations, and sharing, coordination of services and benefits to ensure no doubling of efforts.

Finally, once a quarter, measure the success, what went right, what went wrong. Tweak the model and then, repeat.