really, really basic living
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  1. #1
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    Default really, really basic living

    Okay, strange situation here...

    My brother is homeless because of some emotional/mental issues. He hasn't been diagnosed because of the paranoia aspects of the (alleged) disease. I don't think he is dangerous to others...himself is another story.
    He is wandering the states but my mom has just gotten a message on her phone from him asking for something to be sent to him. He has asked me for some small amounts of money before, via paypal. So now we have a temporary address for him and I want to send him a care package. Any suggestions on what to put in it? This is what I am thinking:
    Trail Mix
    Cell Phone
    $20 cash (laundry is hard to do on a gift card)
    A gift card for a grocery store in the area.
    A "Lonely Planet" book for the area he is in. Something that would give suggestions on cheap places to stay. Wish there was a guide for homeles people.

    Any suggestions??

  2. #2
    Registered User suebeehoney's Avatar
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    How about a prepaid phone card, in addition to, or rather than a cell phone?

    That way, if he's somewhere that the cell phone doesn't get signal, he can use a pay phone with the prepaid card.

    How about a small emergency first aid kit, an emergency blanket (like one of those that reflects body heat back to you and warms you), and some packets of dried fruit in addition to the trail mix.

    Bullion cubes or packets of granulated bullion, tea bags & sugar packets, or instant coffee?

    Just thinking of different lightweight food items he could carry with him without too much difficulty.

    I really hope he is able to get help somewhere soon, and that things turn out ok.

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    Registered User brainyblonde's Avatar
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    Pop-top ready to serve items (soup, fruit, shelf stable meals)
    drink boxes/pouches
    single serve cereal, fruit bars, snacks
    3 in 1 cutlery set (found in the camping aisles)
    socks/underwear
    deodorant

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    How about a small self care kit:
    - Small bar of soap
    - Small bottle of shampoo
    -Toothbrush and paste
    - Small package of tissues

    A small bag of hard candy to keep his sugar up if he isn't eating very well.

    I too had a brother just like this. He traveled everywhere and lived on the streets. He now has gotten help and is living with my mother.

    Cold weather will be here soon maybe you might want to think about sending him a fleece shirt.

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    if he gets diagnosed, he can get a check from social security...

    is sending him money /supplies enabling a bad situation to continue? I mean this in the kindest way...
    baby step 2- see blog for actual amounts

    "stop being a victim, you are a perpetrator, taking things without paying for them is stealing, you are not a victim, you are a perpetrator. PAY THE PEOPLE YOU OWE, pray for the people you owe, and make it right. " hard nosed AA person, thumping his big book, addressed to me in AA meeting 7/30/2013

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    Registered User elphie's Avatar
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    First of all, I am so sorry that your brother is dealing with this. I think good shoes would be of vital importance. Perhaps if he is in an area with public transportation you could order a bus pass online to be sent to his mailing address. Gift cards for fast food places that have dollar menus would also be good, and easier to carry on him at all times than food. I would also check online to see if you can find a shelter in the area that you can get in contact with, perhaps someone there will be able to convince him to get help. Try undertheoverpass.com or check the yellow pages; if you don't find a shelter call a church and they may be able to help point you in the right direction. Good luck. ((((hugs))))

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    Registered User azangie's Avatar
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    I feel for you. I have a brother in the same situation.

    I send him:
    calling cards so he'll stay in touch
    travel size shampoo, deoderants
    M&M's
    small kleenex packages
    McDonald's gift cards

    Bless you for thinking of him. Best wishes to both of you!!!

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    Yes, sending him money and supplies is allowing a bad situation to continue. I don't think that cutting him off will help him understand his life any better. It would just make bad situation worse. He clearly is willing to live in a state with no friends or relatives rather than be diagnosed at this time.
    I like the idea of a personal care kit and the phone card. I am trying to balance shipping charges and his ability to carry with him. The blanket is a great idea, but we are pretty sure he has a sleeping bag with him and he is in an area where he is more likely to have heat exposure problems rather than cold issues.

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    Registered User Marie78's Avatar
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    Does he already have a back pack to carry these care items, you might want to send something like that to carry his belongings in (it could also double as a pillow at night). I'm sorry your brother is having a hard time and it's kind of you to think about him. I work with a homeless population/people with mental illness and there are many living on the streets that don't want to go to the shelters. (Hugs)

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    I think the mcdonalds gift cards are a great idea a warm meal and somwhere to sit for a couple of hours would be a god send
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    Bless your heart Kita, you're a good sister. I'll pray for your brother.

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    Aw Kita you are a sweet sister wanting to help your brother.
    the mcdonald`s gift card ,and ,phone card ,the care item`s are great idea. what about a card for walmart where he can get what he need`s.
    (((hug`s)))

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    Registered User HandyMom's Avatar
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    A backpack with clean change of clothes and toiletries, wash cloth and towel? I like the idea of gift cards for food, too.

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    We are pretty sure he has a backpack. I haven't seen him in a few years, (I live on the other coast) so buying him clothes would be nice but I am not sure about the sizes. I like the McDonald's idea. Do you think they would let him charge the cell while he was there?
    So far I have candy, toothbrush, toothpaste, dishsoap (which can double as laundry soap), a book to read, Dial bar soap, vitamins, ibuprofen, bandaids with antibiotic built in,
    I'll be getting gift cards and phone cards tomorrow. I haven't decided about the cell phone. I do think it would help him get some work. (He does do some day labor). I think the towell would be too bulky, but he might like a new washcloth. Also am going to buy deoderant ...a manly one, I only have girly ones. And a mediumly small bottle of Pert Plus...shampoo and conditioner in one. And sunscreen.
    Thanks for all the ideas. Walmart may be the gift card just because they have everything....

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    I wouldn't worry about the towel. If he showers somewhere like a shelter/day place, they'll probably provide him a towel to use there.

    It kind of depends what his resources are. If he's using a shelter or day center, they might provide him with toiletries. If not, those are crucial.

    Try to figure out if his backpack is sturdy or not. If not, try to send him one. Speaking from experience, not having that REALLY limits what you can carry with you. SOCKS. Send several pairs, if you can. One of the biggest things you need to protect when you're homeless is your feet and it's hard to find anywhere to wash those socks. A couple of pieces of candy would be nice, as well as gift certificates to food places. If you can get transit tokens/passes/whatever for him, that would probably be helpful as well. A pen and puzzle book would be great. A small battery-powered alarm clock would help make sure he wakes up on time to do day labor. Those "space blankets" can be good, as well as tarps (to keep from touching the wet/cold ground). Rain ponchos are nice, as are sunglasses... but it depends where he is which is more important.

    As far as food goes, anything that's not perishable and doesn't require a can opener is great, but especially non-sugary items that contain protein. Individual packets of just-add-water soup and hot cocoa are fantastic.

    If he's in a big city, he may not be able to get to a Wal-mart... they tend to be in the outlying areas, rather than in the city.

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