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Taking in a Homeless Family Member *Update*

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by sweetpeakaris, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. sweetpeakaris

    sweetpeakaris DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2004
    Update: 8/14-

    It's been 2.5 weeks since I took my homeless aunt in. Things are going ok, but I have some concerns & I'm not sure what to do. First off, she has a form of Adult Mecicaid with very limited coverage, no vision, dental, or mental health services.

    I'm no Doctor, but I think she has Mental Health issues. She claims that God talks to her & tells her everything I'm thinking, & tells her everything she needs to do. She went years without Food Stamps & Indentification because God told her she didn't need those things. She will start a conversation with me, then will say "shhh, God is talking to me". Now, we do believe in God, & I grew up in a Christain household, but I think her behavior is a bit odd.

    Also, she says a lot of things that are not true. I had another aunt that had a breast biopsy(small nodule removed) due to suspected Cancer, all results were negative. However, this aunt tried telling me that breast cancer runs in the family & aunt D had her whole breast cut off because she had cancer. I talk to aunt D everyday, so I know this is untrue. She also claims to have 3 biracial grand kids that live in California, I spoke to her son, & this is not true. He only has 2 children & has never visited California. When I was talking to her about a senior living apartment that my uncle lives in, she told me that building was for women with hip replacements, again not true. She can't get SSI till 65, unless she has a disability, I'm thinking she has a undianosed mental illness, not sure how to go about getting her help since her medical insurance doesn't cover mental health. I also don't know how much longer I can tolerate her lies or delussional thoughts.

    Other than that, she cleans my home, keeps herself clean, & interacts good with the kids.

    My 64yr old Aunt called me today, told me that she has stayed her limit at all Shelters & needs a place to stay until she can get on SSI at age 65(July 2014).
    She has been living in Shelters for over 4yrs. She basically spent her life caring for her sick children, her DD died, husband left her homeless.

    Long story short, we are the only ones willing to help her. I have family that are in a better financial position than us, but they are selfish. We have 5 kids, live on one income & honestly don't know how we will care for another person, but its only the right thing to do. We are picking her up tomorrow & I need ideas or resources for help. She told me she has a medical card & gets food stamps. Will she still get them if she moves in with us? I have a partially finished room in the basement, but no bed or TV down there.

    I already use coupons, time showers, shop sales only. Any other ideas to stretch funds? Is there anywhere that will donate a bed or offer any kind of help?

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  3. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    Try the free boards on Craigslist or free cycle.com. You may find a bed. I can't help with services. Best of luck.
  4. Jeff_G

    Jeff_G Mouseketeer

    Dec 30, 2010
    Does you aunt work? Can she get a job of some sorts? If she is disabled and cannot work, then she should apply for Social Security disability.

    Food assistance eligibility is based on "household" income.

    From USDA:
    What is a Household?

    Everyone who lives together and purchases and prepares meals together is grouped together as one household. However, if a person is 60 years of age or older and he or she is unable to purchase and prepare meals separately because of a permanent disability, the person and the person's spouse may be a separate household if the others they live with do not have very much income. (More than 165 percent of the poverty level.)

    So your aunt should talk to her case worker to see what impact moving in with you would have on her food assistance.
  5. KY*Figment

    KY*Figment DIS Veteran

    Dec 12, 2008

    I can't help because sttes manage their public assistance a.k.a. welfare differently. I would suggest if your children attend public schools I would talk to the family resource center or guidance counselor. They probably help grandparents raising grandchildren so probably familiar w/ programs. Check w/ local senior citizen center. If she gets a medical card then she probably sees a doc who takes Medicaid and that doc may be a wealth of info. Go to the public assistance office and talk to them at her next appointment, there is probably flayers with info on them. Talk to the homeless shelters, they can point you in the right direction. Contact you local comprehensive care/ mental health agency they could give you pointers. Go to public housing and get her on the waiting list because many are 2+ years. If you have a non profit hospital talk to a social worker. St. Vincent De Paul w/ Catholic churches, Goodwill, and Salvation Army could help. Plasma centers will sometimes have someone who could help. I work w/ the mentally ill, mentally retarded, and the geriatric population so I don't think twice calling people just to pick their brains. Some people are helpful and others are not. Many States are broke so assistance is tough.
  6. DisneyMissy318

    DisneyMissy318 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2006
    Blessings to you and your family for helping your Aunt. Maybe your church or a local church would assist. I know a few here are usually looking for someone to help. I would make all of the calls you can and just ask the question. If your Aunt was involved with any type of organization (off chance of being a vet), you can reach out to those places as well. I'm sure that was a hard call for your Aunt to make and hugs to you for answering!
  7. Kristibo42

    Kristibo42 DIS Veteran

    Mar 28, 2005
    Good for you doing the right thing. Not many people would. I don't really have any insight. Just wanted to say kudos to your whole family. Hope all works out.
  8. KY*Figment

    KY*Figment DIS Veteran

    Dec 12, 2008
    Just notice you are in Michigan so the state bankruptcy may make it impossible to get assistance.

    Good luck.
  9. snarlingcoyote

    snarlingcoyote <font color=blue>I know people who live in really

    Dec 27, 2008
    I would try your local council on aging first; they will be clued in to the resources available in your area.

    If they don't have any ideas the Charity Vault should help you find out if there are any local charities that can help you with the bed and other help.


    ETA: I've had good luck finding furniture and such for dear relations at yard sales or by simply asking around everyone I know.
  10. powellrj

    powellrj DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2003
    I would ask at your church if you attend, or try facebook. I see posts from friends all the time looking for furniture so maybe you can find someone that way.
  11. plummer925

    plummer925 DIS Veteran

    Jun 16, 2002
    That is "sort of" good information, but not entirely true. She CAN keep her food benefit if SHE is paying for her own food. Her case worker will be able to help out with that. There are ways around the household rule. We lived with my father in law - who got food stamps - because we cared for him - he kept his food stamps - we were considered two separate households even though we lived under one roof - ONLY because it was a caretaker situation - and yours would be similar. If not a caretaker situation then household rules do apply, but there are special rules for special circumstances such as this.

    I do agree with other posters who say she needs to apply for SSI.
  12. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

    May 24, 2008
    I volunteer with St. Vincent DePaul. We give beds for children and the elderly. We also can help with food, utilities, and clothing. Don't be afraid to ask for help for your whole family if you get into a bind. That is what charities like to do, help people get over a hump.
  13. nyrebecca

    nyrebecca DIS Veteran

    Mar 17, 2007
    I don't have helpful information, but I will be thinking of you and your family and hoping that you find the answers you need to help you all. Most people wouldn't do what you are doing, and I give you kudos for doing it. I am sure your children will see this and be inspired to help others in need when they are older.
  14. mjlewis23

    mjlewis23 Mouseketeer

    Apr 6, 2007
    The whole STATE isn't in bankruptcy!!!!:rotfl2: Just Detroit:-). The state itself is actually doing really well right now outside of Detroit;) (from a fellow Michigander)
  15. momof1princess

    momof1princess <font color=darkorchid>i feel like i'm going to ex

    Aug 3, 2005
    OP, as a couple of the PPs have said, if your aunt is physically unable to work, she should apply for SSI immediately. there is no reason for her to wait until age 65. she may be confusing SSI with social security; however, there is no need for her to wait for 65 for social security either. my DFIL got it at age 62, due to a heart issue that left him unable to work. both of my parents are on disability due to back injuries at their former jobs (rubberworker and steelworker), and have been since they were both in their early 50s. i would also suggest contacting the united way. in our area, they run a hotline named "first call for help", which is a clearinghouse for all aid agencies in our county. the local council on aging is also an excellent suggestion.
  16. Colleen27

    Colleen27 DIS Veteran

    Mar 31, 2007
    Check with churches in your area, especially those that have thrift shops to support their charitable efforts. I know there's one in my town that gives away items that were donated to the thrift shop to families in need - they've helped families who lost everything in fires, kids who age out of foster care, etc.

    As someone else said, the school social worker might be your best place to start. Even if you're in a nicer area they probably have experience with homeless students, grandparents raising grandchildren, foster care, and other situations that have led them to become familiar with family-support resources in your area.

    Another good place to look is to the power of the social network - find out if your community or county has a swap group on Facebook and post that you're looking for a bed for a reasonable price. You may well find one "free to good home" or for yard-sale prices without the inconvenience and expense of driving around hoping to stumble across one.
  17. megan10310

    megan10310 Mouseketeer

    Dec 31, 2009
    Have you checked into low income housing for seniors? Our area has sliding scale housing available. People pay $8 min or 33% of their income. And she should be able to get ssi now. Help her apply, I doubt very much that she will have to live with you. That would be very tight! I hope it works out okay.
  18. nunzia

    nunzia You can't top pigs with pigs, but you CAN top Toys

    Oct 19, 2007
    I don't understand why she cannot apply for SSI now..you can start getting your Social Security benefits at a lower rate at 62, so she should apply now.Did she work enough quarters in her lifetime to even qualify? I don't understand why she has been living in shelters for 4 years when she is 2 years past the SSI elegibility age. As others have asked, can she not work at all? She could work some and still draw SSI without penalty. If seems like she needs some advice as much as a home, as someone of her age should know these things or should have been informed of them somewhere in the system. She she should be able to live on SSI, part time work, and food and housing assistance on her own. She does need to wait until 65 for Medicare, unless she has a disability and qualifies for that. I guess I don't get why she has been in shelters so long since there are other options.
  19. scrapquitler

    scrapquitler DIS Veteran

    Aug 15, 2007
    Is her husband still alive or is he deceased? If he is deceased and they were married more than 10 years, she can collect some of his SSI benefits.

    She should go out and find some job, any job until she can collect SSI (and why can't she collect now, she is over 62 1/2????? - her benefits will be reduced, but it 's better than not having ANY income.)
  20. Jedimom

    Jedimom Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2011
    I'm glad someone else said it -- I completely agree! I find it terribly hard to believe that in four years time, no one from these shelters -- be it staff or other homeless persons -- have not met with her, counseled her, or broached the subject of alternative social services available to her. I guess it's possible, but just.....unlikely in my opinion. Sorry if that's harsh; I'd just hate to see you be taken for a ride. Maybe I'm wrong -- I hope I am -- but that was my first impression on reading.

    What happens at the magical age of 65 (or earlier) when she's able to draw SSI? It's not going to be a windfall for her, it won't be enough to cover rent even. What is her plan then? Does she have one?
  21. Gorechick

    Gorechick DIS Veteran

    Aug 19, 2001
    I read that you said there are other relatives who are being selfish and don't want to care for her. Does that include her own children ( if she has any)? If there's no family friction with them and they're using you as a doormat then they should be reamed out and your aunt should be dropped off at their house.

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