Mom on the road to homelessness. How do I help? - AgingCare.com

Mom on the road to homelessness. How do I help?

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My mother has been living in a foreclosed property since 2009; the owner had taken about a years worth of rent before she found out. She has not paid rent since 2010. She also has not held a job since my sister was born. My sister is now 13. My mother states that being a full time mom and the president of the PTA hindered her ability to work. She had me when she was relatively young and waited until her mid/late thirties to have my brother and sister. At the age of 9 my mother and father got separated and my father took me and moved 1500 miles away. He never received child support and she rarely sent Christmas gifts/money. She has been calling me nonstop this week because the court has ordered her to pay 2000 to the new owners of the house and to pay 800 every Friday until April. I know she won't be able to make the payments because she doesn't have a job. She orignially asked me for 2000 and I told her I do not have it. Then she asked me for 350 because she came up with the rest. I'm afraid if I give her the 350 she will ask me for money every week until April and I'm also scared that if she doesn't get the money she will be homeless with 2 children. Throughout the years I have given her money 100-200 here and there frequently. She rarely calls me unless she wants to gossip about her family or to ask me for money. She is not any easy pill to swallow. She drinks frequently but does not consider herself and alcoholic and she is unreasonably mean towards her 13 year daughter. The seven year old son has free reign to do as he pleases.
My current situation:
My husband is a wounded veteran medically retired. He has PTSD, severe social anxiety and major depression. He's currently going to school full time and working full time. We are also coping with his mother's end stage colon cancer. We have a 3 year old. I am also a veteran going to school full time and working part time. we live in a two bedroom apartment a state away from my mother.

I am at a complete loss at what to do. Should I put myself in a hole and give her the money? When she ends up homeless am I supposed to take her in? I see people all the time taking in family and I'm just concerned that if they end up on the street in the middle of the winter then I will have no choice but to take them in. & if I take them in i'm going to end up being the primary caretaker for all of them until my mother dies & that scares/depresses me.

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Mom can take care of getting herself some .help, Do not give her any more money. If the younger childrens father is not able to help.. I might think about taking them in if I could, but not Mom. She needs to get herself straighted out. Then come up with a plan for them that does not involve you and your family.
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You can let them bleed you dry financially instead of getting the help they need, and at the end you will be bled dry and they will still need help. All your money will have gone to buy them a dely in getting help that does more harm than good. You are going to have to let them hit bottom - and in the mother's case, have the kids taken away from her if she cannot provide for them or supervise them and is not wiling to go into a program where she can get clean and get back on her feet. If you offered to make some calls or get a legal plan for them it would be one thing, but subsidizing them will simply prolong and spread the pain and misery for everyone.
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You have to take a deep breath and just say no. Most of the people on this site feel guilty at one time or another and I have been one of them. I finally decided to just say no to my sibs when they wanted money. They hate me now and say I'm evil, but I finally just don't care what they think. Like others have said, bad decisions. Don't subject yourself to abuse. I quite answering the phone when I knew it was them. There are agencies that your mother can call and shelters that will take them in. The sooner you stop taking her calls the better. I know this sounds cold, but after taking abuse from sibs I am finally numb to them. You have enough and don't need this stress. Pray for them and let it go.
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Robbe6 - addiction is most heart breaking, but you can't let the emotions trick you into making bad decisions. An addict is an addict is an addict and if he's not in a real treatment program, he's not going to solve any problems.

This can bleed you dry emotionally and financially. You can put $500 in cash into the toilet, flush it, and be just as well off.

Guilt is a big tool people use to trick people around them to continue enabling. It takes a very strong person to say no and stick to it. If you do provide money, it can't be in cash. I would require that I write the check and mail it/take it to the place that needs the money - e.g. landlord, power company, etc. No cash donations! If it's for groceries, then I'm at the store, paying at the cash register myself. Otherwise, you don't know where your hard earned money is going.

We have a lot of addicts & street people who come into the skyways downtown this time of year begging for money. I have seen several of the frequent ones turn down people who offer to go buy them food at a restaurant or clothes at a store. That tells me they want cash for habits, not help.
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Thank u for your support. My issue is my brother who is an addict and alcoholic. He is 57 years old and has taken responsibility for his actions. He has moved out to Northern California from the east coast. Now I feel he is my problem. He has been in Caifornia for 2 months and asking me for money. He states that if I don't assist him he will be homeless.
Having been in law enforcement for the past 25 years I know in my head how to deal with him. Call social services. However, it breaks my heart to hear this from him
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You have enough on your plate already. Let the kids go with their father, not with you. Let mom go. You know she's lying to you about the money. The only way she will pull herself up is after she hits bottom. Been there with an alcoholic addicted BIL. He had to bottom out to stop bottoms up.
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What can you do? Look away and wish her all the best.
Sounds mean and cold doesn't it?
But it's realistic. Your mom sounds like never ending trouble on wheels and I would not let that within 500 miles of my home, my children, or my marriage.

The real victims here are the 13 & 7 year old. I don't know how connected you feel to these children or if there is any other family who could take them, but it sounds like your plate is literally overflowing with enough complexity and stress as it is.

Don't answer the phone or the doorbell if it's her. Don't give her money because it's not going to whatever she said it was. It's easy for me to say because I'm not there, but I'd close the cover on that book and leave it alone!
Good luck out there!
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It must be hard to feel torn between two loyalties. Your mother is an adult who has her own responsibilities. You have your own. Thats the operative word: Responsible. You are not responsible for her situation. You didn't create it, you cannot change it, and it isn't your fault. She is an adult. If she doesn't take responsibility for her own situation, that's on HER. Who else will care for your family if YOU don't? They are YOUR responsibility because they are still children. I agree with freqflyer that the info you were given about your mother's situation doesn't sound quite kosher. Your mother may have misunderstood the situation. But I agree with the other posters: you are not empowering her to become stronger by providing her a way to continue her dependency.
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When a bank sells a house through foreclosure the tenant does not convey with the property. Said lease was between former owner and your mother, not between the bank and your mother. And the fact your mother stopped paying rent means she broke the lease 4 years ago.

Sorry, but reading that the new owner is now charging your Mom rent doesn't make sense. No buyer would purchase a home with someone living in it illegally. In order for the new owners to charge your mother rent, your mother had to sign a lease with them. Just my professional opinion.
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How could a person (won't call them parent) who all but ignored a child, expect that child to take care of them? The cold hard fact is that your Mother felt no responsibility towards you and you have no reason to feel the need to help her. It is difficult when you are a kind and caring person but your responsibilities are under your roof only. As Babalou said, tell her to call social services in her area. It sounds like she has other family nearby and possibly they can be of some help. Do NOT allow her into your home or give her any money. Yes, she does need a mental evaluation and probably treatment.

This woman made some very bad choices in her life and they belong only to her. Where is the father of the two younger children? He might be an option if she is unable to care for them.

You take care of your family and do not allow Mother to drag you down trying to solve her problems. You have nothing to feel guilty about. It might help you to talk with a counselor in sorting out all the emotions involved in this situation.

If necessary change your telephone numbers. Your own family's future is at stake. Sounds as if you and your husband are working on your educations, I applaud you for that. Keep moving forward and don't look back.

Wishing you all the best!
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