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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry about this posting, I'm feeling a little lost in my emotions and just can't wrap my head around it.

Our neighbors stopped paying their electric bill when their youngest was born... she is now about 2yrs. We've been running a cord over since earlier this summer when we found out they were without electric so they can keep their fridge and/or AC running. They were free to chose what they needed and it was a stifling summer here in Baltimore.

There are 5 kids in the home, 15 with some anger issues, 10, 8 with severe autism, 4 with motor, attention and probably some other development issues, and their youngest is a 2 yr old with a lazy eye and possibly some delay. This stay at home mom has her hands full. Her mother lives with them and I think any benefits she has helps pay the rent. She assists with the kids but doesn't really have the tolerance for them at this age of her life.

Last night the 4 yr old got through the baby gate and out the door and ran down the street naked (hypersensitive to binding clothes so she takes them off frequently) with the 2 yr old copying everything she does, following after. So someone called the police and they were here this morning.

Sadly, the kids are being placed with other family members. This is because they do not have electricity, the officer commented on the condition of the house and I'm sure the cleanliness of the clothing (she washes out things by hand in lukewarm water from the tank and they get to a laundromat about once a month - I found this out a few days ago). I know this woman has tried her utmost to do the best she can for her kids but they have continued to struggle and I can only imagine her exhaustion at the end of the day.

The only thing about this situation that I am grateful for is that perhaps this is the rock bottom they needed to hit so they can regain their focus and start building again instead of treading water and slowly drowning. The Mom, who is close to my age demonstrates depression (and who wouldn't given her situation), the family should have been on WIC or Food stamps the entire past year but they only started applying for foodstamps this summer.

I'm hoping that counseling can help them but more importantly financial counseling so they can regain electricity and get their family back together. I'm sure they owe several thousand by now if they haven't paid for two years.

I gave her a copy of TMMO by DR early this summer, I've offered (only accepted once) to have her grocery shopping with me and we've run an errand for her to get a new phone when the old one broke. (She has a high end phone now). She has never opened up enough for me to feel comfortable asking about her financial situation in the past and has only started to cry when I've asked.

My heart aches for this family. Everyone's routine is now gone, the kids are not with people who know them or their personalities. Only the older two will have an idea of what and why.

How long did they think could they just drift with the current until they're hit by a wave?

I just don't get it.

Thank you for letting me get this out there. You are a wonderful Village of people and I appreciate the experiences that you are willing to share. I know many of you have suffered financial hardships that leave you reeling and I would very much like to know how I can help this family the most.
 

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People need to put their needs over their pride.. Doesn't even sound like a situation fit for an animal.. We have been down and out a few times in the past, even going with out water once, TG for rain season, but never did we just let that be that, we changed the situation as soon as we could due to the kids..

Her delay on getting assistance confuses me.. In every state/city I have lived in (there was many) there was always assistance for low income families and they always stepped up faster if there was special needs children.. Assistance with utilities, food, etc..

Honestly is some ways the kids are a little better off right now, just hope she wakes up fast..

We are very bad at excepting help, but we know when we need to accept it..
 
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How awful! It's really hard to imagine how many people we come in contact with every day live like this. That poor mother, just reading your post makes me feel sad for them. At least you tried to do what you could to help them. I hope that things can work out for them and they can get their children back. God Bless you for doing what you did, I'm sure it was appreciated!
 

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First I think you are one of the most warmest, caring people there are. I feel so bad for her and the kids! When I as at my lowest point, I too did not accept any assistance. I don't think it was pride ..... It as more the need to do it on my own. I was just separated and had didn't have any money. There were many days I fed my son but I did not eat.....but i didnt have special needs children that is a whole different ball game. It sounds like she is doing what she feels is right for her and trying her very best. I never 'look down' on anyone....unless I walk a mile in their shoes.

I hope she gets her children back and the help she needs with
her special needs children. I believe that a not helping the situation. I will be praying for her and the children.
 

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People need to put their needs over their pride.. Doesn't even sound like a situation fit for an animal.. We have been down and out a few times in the past, even going with out water once, TG for rain season, but never did we just let that be that, we changed the situation as soon as we could due to the kids..

Her delay on getting assistance confuses me.. In every state/city I have lived in (there was many) there was always assistance for low income families and they always stepped up faster if there was special needs children.. Assistance with utilities, food, etc..

Honestly is some ways the kids are a little better off right now, just hope she wakes up fast..

We are very bad at excepting help, but we know when we need to accept it..

She most likely shunned assistance because she was afraid of what happened to her happening. :(

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Ronald Reagan
 

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Some people are just not capable of making decisions and taking control of their life. It sounds to me, from what little I know of this woman, that she is one of those people, compounded with the overwhelming struggle to make ends meet when she has nothing to work with.

I think, if you are going to really help them, you are going to have to get more involved. I mean things like taking her to apply for aid, to food pantries, to find work, and to the courthouse to help her keep her rights to her kids.
 

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Hugs to you and to the family.

Rock bottom I guess is different for everyone.

I know of a few families that are living the way you described but with no running water (and no naked running children just clothed babies and children). One family I know well had Child services called, they investigated and told her she was doing a good job as a mother and keep up the good work and reminded her that it was not a crime to be poor.

Not sure if this story helps at all just some experiences I could share.

With her children gone, they will help her get help so she can get her children back. I believe they normally get there children back as long as they show they are trying and willing to learn.

Again hugs to you and the family
 

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So sorry to hear of this family's plight, but so glad that you are there, Ceashels. Keep us posted.
 

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This is so tragic! Bless you for caring so much.

I wonder how much of this is due to depression? I've known some people who could barely get through the day, let alone leave the house and face all the questions that would be needed to apply for assistance.

This is really heartbreaking.
 

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Some people are just not capable of making decisions and taking control of their life. It sounds to me, from what little I know of this woman, that she is one of those people, compounded with the overwhelming struggle to make ends meet when she has nothing to work with.

I think, if you are going to really help them, you are going to have to get more involved. I mean things like taking her to apply for aid, to food pantries, to find work, and to the courthouse to help her keep her rights to her kids.
I agree with that, and I'll add that first you're probably going to have to decide whether or not you want to help because there probably isn't going to be much you can do without really sticking your nose in it.

Losing your kids pretty much qualifies as hitting rock bottom for most moms. In my opinion, if you want to stick your nose in it, now is the time. If losing her kids doesn't motivate her to accept help and get her act together, nothing will.

You just have to keep in mind though that some people can't be helped and all your work may amount to nothing. Been there, done that. I've also helped people in some situations and they've been genuinely thankful and have made every effort to turn things around. You can't really tell. During my most recent effort to help a lost cause, it was very helpful for me to decide beforehand exactly where to draw the line that I was prepared for anything that turned up. (In this case, I'll drive you places, I'll help you find resources and I'll pay for your meals when we run around, but I drew the line at actually giving them money.)

Good luck Ceashels, you're a good woman!
 

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My heart goes out to that poor Mom...One of the worst things that could happen to a Mother, would be to lose her children...One of my worst nightmare situations anyway...I'll be paying for them.

Rock bottom...bad place to be...been there and definitely don't want to go back if I can help it.
There is something I learned about the experience though:
**the thing about hitting "rock bottom", there's only one direction left to go...UP!**
 
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Speaking as both a mother of two and a mother of an autistic child, I think the kids are in a better place right now. Having that many children and having almost all of them with some form of delay/condition that makes it harder on the mother in a situation like they've been in is not a good situation at all.

While I am sure that she appreciates what you've done for her family, I think she should have been shown what can really happen to her children far before what had them removed from the home in the first place. Sometimes, people really need to swallow their pride and admit when they're so far gone that they need more than one person's help.

Regardless of her fear of what may have happened if she approached anyone else for help, she should have thought about the health and wellness of her children first. As a mother, you do what you can do to help your kids. However, if you have that many children and you're not doing the most that you can for them, you're causing more harm than good. It's almost downright neglectful.

I am a person that's full of pride, but I do know when I have reached my limit and need to ask others for help when my kids (not me) need it the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you everyone. I really appreciate the kindness, the thoughts and the prayers.

For some added details, she is not a single mom, she is married and her husband is working a $9/hr job but it isn't full time and it just isn't enough. He does odd jobs on the side and did some great work for Greebo and I at the rental unit. We won't have more work for him until we can cash flow the upper unit renovations. They do not have a car so they rely on one of the older daughters (she has 8 children all total) for transportation for groceries.

Yesterday afternoon before all of this happened she and I had a short but nice conversation over the fence. I'm going to try and invite her over for coffee Monday (I have off) so she and I can determine what the criteria is for getting the kids back. I know they need the electric and I'm assuming the house needs to be cleaned and there will most likely be a home eval before the kids return. I don't think they are able to prioritize their living needs much less a plan of action for this.

I want them to know that I am on their side because I really don't think removing the kids was the right thing to do in this situation. It may have been the best thing but I really think the kids will be paying the price.

I'll keep you posted.
Love you all,
Ceashels
 

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Thank you everyone. I really appreciate the kindness, the thoughts and the prayers.

For some added details, she is not a single mom, she is married and her husband is working a $9/hr job but it isn't full time and it just isn't enough. He does odd jobs on the side and did some great work for Greebo and I at the rental unit. We won't have more work for him until we can cash flow the upper unit renovations. They do not have a car so they rely on one of the older daughters (she has 8 children all total) for transportation for groceries.

Yesterday afternoon before all of this happened she and I had a short but nice conversation over the fence. I'm going to try and invite her over for coffee Monday (I have off) so she and I can determine what the criteria is for getting the kids back. I know they need the electric and I'm assuming the house needs to be cleaned and there will most likely be a home eval before the kids return. I don't think they are able to prioritize their living needs much less a plan of action for this.

I want them to know that I am on their side because I really don't think removing the kids was the right thing to do in this situation. It may have been the best thing but I really think the kids will be paying the price.

I'll keep you posted.
Love you all,
Ceashels
You are a very good friend Ceashels, the world needs lots more like you.
 

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In some ways your story reminds me of a family that lived in the neighborhood when I was growing up. Everyone in the neighborhood knew they were poor. I was allowed to play with them once and a while but it did get to the point where I was not allowed to go to the girls house. They were the same age as a group of us in the neighborhood. The reason I was not allowed was that the cleanliness of the house was not good.

One day the family ended up moving. It was not until years later that I learned that the family ended up doing really well.

I notice that you did not mention anything about the husband. Also, you never know how much pride someone takes in handling things on their own. It does sound like she has much to much on her hands and is completely overwhelmed. Hopefully the family will get the help they need both financially and especially emotionally. You have been a great neighbor and I am sorry you have to watch what is happening to your neighbors.
 

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While it's uncomfortable to say the least I don't see how not having electricity is neglect. What about all the years that mankind survived without electricity? We take our kids camping and nobody says that we subjecting them to abuse.
I'm sure that Ceasels is right, these aren't bad people just desperate people. I hope that they have found their rock bottom and can now climb out of it.
 
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