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How to ask people for help

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How to ask people for help

Post by walkbythelake on Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:44 pm

Whenever a newspaper article appears about a suicide, the question is always asked, "Why didn't they ask for help?"

I am worried about the specter of homelessness as of September and I have been asking for help and getting the cold shoulder.

I am of the age that is referred to as a "mature worker." I am alone and have no family or support system. Most of the people in my education category have jobs, money, nice houses and a family. I have a large number of superficial friends and very few close friends. I make friends easily, but people back away when they find out I have no family. They do not want to be the one I turn to in case of emergency.

I have written a letter to 21 board members of the charity agency of my religion asking for career help and networking, as I am highly educated with excellent skills. I also asked if the agency would create a modest half time tutoring position for me at a survival wage. This agency is in the process of building a new building, so they have money. The charity helped me with my rent payment but now I won't be eligible for that for perhaps another 8 or 9 months. But they refused to give me any networking. They would not treat me as a professional.

I also asked several other individuals for career help (not for any cash or money) and they did nothing. I received a few deft attempts to make it look like they were helping while giving me the cold shoulder. One referred me to a coach and the another introduced me to a professor in another English-speaking country that I could not get to and do not have a work permit for.

I seem to be unable to connect to anyone about my situation. I believe that people care and do not want me to be homeless, but I can't seem to get anyone to understand how urgent it is and get anyone to actually do something for me, such as introducing me to people, helping me get in the door, asking others if they know anyone who can hire me in their office, etc.

Then there are people I am afraid to tell how urgent my situation is. I am afraid they will look down on me and reject me if I violate the veneer of professional formailty.

I had made one close friend, who dropped me as soon as I revealed that I was getting food from a foodbank (and she realized that I had a low enough amount of money to meet the eligibility criterion for that). There are many people who cannot handle the idea of anyone who doesn't have a few hundred thousand available. I had $100,000 at one point but the recession in my home state started in 2001, and how long can that amount of wealth last?

In the state where I live now, people who bought real estate at $60K 35 years ago now have the same house worth $600K, an increase which never existed in my original home state. So even very uneducated people here are very rich and they do not understand how a person like does not have any money. They do not have to have good jobs in order to survive, because all of their money comes from real estate profit.

I am lost about how to communicate to people how urgent the situation is in a way that will get results. I really need help as I fear homelessness as of September.

It's amazing how people adhere to the alleged "meritocracy" over helping people in need when it comes to the jobs issue.

Thank you for any suggestions about what works when talking to friends and acquaintances.


Last edited by walkbythelake on Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:46 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : typing error)

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by walkbythelake on Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:49 pm

I want to add one thing. Two people very casually said to me, "let me know if you need anything" after I revealed my situation, but I don't know what it means when they said that. One was someone in the local area I got together with because we are both unemployed and decided to encourage each other, so I have only met that person once. Another is a couple I have met several times - am on very superficially friendly terms with them.

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by Redpossum on Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:28 pm

Walkie, you have my sincere sympathies.

Your tale is a very familiar one to many of us here. We've almost all had similar circumstances. There are, after all, roughly 6 million of us in the 99er boat, and 74% of us are over 50 years of age.

I'm 51, and I do not have any formal education past the community college level. The best income year of my life, I w-2'd $38,000

But my career in information systems came to a crashing end when the industry failed in the aftermath of 911, and I was replaced by a Romanian man on an H-1b visa. I was never able to get re-hired in the information systems industry. I suspect my age was part of it. Granted, I'd bootstrapped my way up, but I had a decade of solid experience, and an array of professional credentials and certifications.

I then spent the next seven years waiting tables for minimum wage plus tips. The last full year I worked, my W-2 income was $15,000.

I was laid off from my last restaurant job in April 2008. Give the low wage I was making, and that tips apparently don't count toward the UI calculation, my unemployment benefits were only $173 per week, or roughly $700 a month.

My unemployment expired in June of 2010. For the last 13 months, I have been a 99er. I have no cash income. If it wasn't for the $200 in food stamps that I receive every month, I'd be going hungry or eating out of trashcans.

So, comrade, if you'll permit me to call you that, welcome to the ranks of the proletariat. It is clear that you come from a far more affluent background than I, but I do not resent you for that, not even in the slightest. We are all equal here in the Monkey House.

Without in any way meaning to be callous or unsympathetic, you will learn from this.

Trying to feed yourself on $6.50 a day worth of food stamps will teach you to cook better than ever before. Simple vegetarian meals will teach you to really appreciate meat when you get to eat some.

Being despised by those who once pretended to be your peers will teach you genuine humility, and the worse that hurts at first, the more your soul will benefit from it, if you can resist despair.

Being forced to acknowledge that you now really are, in the most brutal sense, no better than any of the rest of us, will teach you an egalitarian worldview of a profundity that nothing else can match.

Seeing life from the underside of society will teach you just how outrageously corrupt and unjust America has become.

Being dealt with as a lowlife by the police will teach you that in the USA today, the word "justice" means exactly what it sounds like, "just us".

Try to resist falling into religion. The archangel Michael is not going to come down from Heaven with a flaming sword to smite the devil and solve our problems. Islam is not the problem. Muslims are not your enemies. Your enemies, our enemies, are the rich, corrupt fatcats who have sold America down the river. We are the collateral damage of that war.

Again, comrade, in all loving sincerity, welcome to the Monkey House. If you can resist despair, you will survive. And if you do survive, you will be a better person for this experience.

And one day, come the revolution, we will repay those who have done this to us, we will repay them a thousandfold.

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by walkbythelake on Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:04 pm

I grew up in a low income background. We had food and a roof over our heads, but nothing else. We thought we were rich because we didn't live in the ghetto neighborhoods. I worked my way through college and got scholarships, living on the $10 per week for food, working two secretarial jobs part time while going to college full time. I don't think I am better than others.

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by couth11 on Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:07 pm

Redpossum wrote:Walkie, you have my sincere sympathies.

Your tale is a very familiar one to many of us here. We've almost all had similar circumstances. There are, after all, roughly 6 million of us in the 99er boat, and 74% of us are over 50 years of age.

I'm 51, and I do not have any formal education past the community college level. The best income year of my life, I w-2'd $38,000

But my career in information systems came to a crashing end when the industry failed in the aftermath of 911, and I was replaced by a Romanian man on an H-1b visa. I was never able to get re-hired in the information systems industry. I suspect my age was part of it. Granted, I'd bootstrapped my way up, but I had a decade of solid experience, and an array of professional credentials and certifications.

I then spent the next seven years waiting tables for minimum wage plus tips. The last full year I worked, my W-2 income was $15,000.

I was laid off from my last restaurant job in April 2008. Give the low wage I was making, and that tips apparently don't count toward the UI calculation, my unemployment benefits were only $173 per week, or roughly $700 a month.

My unemployment expired in June of 2010. For the last 13 months, I have been a 99er. I have no cash income. If it wasn't for the $200 in food stamps that I receive every month, I'd be going hungry or eating out of trashcans.

So, comrade, if you'll permit me to call you that, welcome to the ranks of the proletariat. It is clear that you come from a far more affluent background than I, but I do not resent you for that, not even in the slightest. We are all equal here in the Monkey House.

Without in any way meaning to be callous or unsympathetic, you will learn from this.

Trying to feed yourself on $6.50 a day worth of food stamps will teach you to cook better than ever before. Simple vegetarian meals will teach you to really appreciate meat when you get to eat some.

Being despised by those who once pretended to be your peers will teach you genuine humility, and the worse that hurts at first, the more your soul will benefit from it, if you can resist despair.

Being forced to acknowledge that you now really are, in the most brutal sense, no better than any of the rest of us, will teach you an egalitarian worldview of a profundity that nothing else can match.

Seeing life from the underside of society will teach you just how outrageously corrupt and unjust America has become.

Being dealt with as a lowlife by the police will teach you that in the USA today, the word "justice" means exactly what it sounds like, "just us".

Try to resist falling into religion. The archangel Michael is not going to come down from Heaven with a flaming sword to smite the devil and solve our problems. Islam is not the problem. Muslims are not your enemies. Your enemies, our enemies, are the rich, corrupt fatcats who have sold America down the river. We are the collateral damage of that war.

Again, comrade, in all loving sincerity, welcome to the Monkey House. If you can resist despair, you will survive. And if you do survive, you will be a better person for this experience.

And one day, come the revolution, we will repay those who have done this to us, we will repay them a thousandfold.
Bump

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by Springflowers on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:07 pm

Don't go to the rich for help, go to the working class and other poor people.

That is where most of your help will come.

I would call up some different churches and try and find help.

Ask God for hope. Organized religion stinks often, but seek after God and Jesus Christ as your savior.

Any church who refuses to help you, they are not showing anything good. Perhaps you need to leave there and tell them why.

There are intentional communities that maybe would help you stay off the streets.

I wish I had better answers. It does stink. If they end disability I may be dependent on the mercy of friends myself. You do not even have any close friends, dont feel too shamed to turned to one of them even if they are out of state...they would rather you are able to keep going I am sure. The rich do not get it, they live in an out of touch world. I live amongst them here, according to those people there is no economic collapse, guess its easy for them to pretend.

Seriously leave the richy riches behind and go to a new working class area, where you would find people who GET IT.


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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by walkbythelake on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:21 pm

To all who replied:
Thank you for the comments

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by TR11005 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:08 am

The best source of help is the Public Library and the Internet. Don't depend on anybody. If you get help that it is great. If you have your health, that is the most important thing. The church is great spiritual place. Today, there funds are very stretched. I have been helped by my church, but that is only because a rich person left some money years ago to help the needy. They can help with the interest and dividends from it. It was to help people in the church that have financial problems for paying for utilities and some health insurance. Then that is limited.

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by lendmeflight2 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:07 am

I find it very hard to ask people for help. I have friends that say "let me know if you need anything" but I don't know if they mean it. Do I need anything? yeah I need to move into your empty bedroom because I only have 4 weeks of benefits and no hope left. I doubt that is the kind of help they mean.

I did ask to borrow 17 dollars once. They gave it to me and I paid it back 4 days later.

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by walkbythelake on Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:01 am

When Katrina happened, people were taking survivors into their homes and extra apartments. Perhaps there needs to be some kind of public awareness effot for people to take in unemployment survivors. Perhaps we should be publicizing that need in a general way out there on other blog sites rather than asking for help individually.

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Re: How to ask people for help

Post by couth11 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:04 pm

I remember reading something about a database of 99ers being created to match people with living situations to people needing them, but don't know if it was ever created. If it wasn't on 99ersAid, then it was probably through Pam Sexton (I put links up earlier on Pray for me and my family thread) or http://wearevisible.com/

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Re: How to ask people for help

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