One of my neighbours, who had a host of problems, was abandoned by her husband of 2 years and kicked out into the street with her 5 kids and several animals. I had done my best to help her, taking care of her children, providing transportation, helping her clean her home and pack, accompanied her when she went to court, calling on extra bodies for help, and opened up my home for her and her children. She deliberately chose to not move in with me, but instead rely further on the government to help her, because she didn't want 1) to be a burden on someone who has been so kind to her, 2) wanted her oldest child to be away from her bad friends, and 3) didn't want to live in a situation where she would be living under someone else's rules, feeling judged for having such a different lifestyle. I was very much frustrated and insulted that she refused to accept my offer, and I feel that if I was in her situation I would've made different choices, but the reality was that she was a different person than myself, so of course she would make different choices. As a friend, all I can do is support her the best I can.
That was a few months ago. Today, she still lives in a hotel, and I am almost due with my 4th child. Though I felt that I could take her in back when I was in my 2nd trimester, I don't feel that I can now. I wish she had taken up my offer back when I was capable of housing her, because I think that in the 2 months or so that I could've kept her that she'd have saved up enough money to better help herself. But now, I am relieved that I don't have to be a mother for 2 sets of kids. It was hard being a cheuffuer for her, taking her kids to and from school every day, and now I'm glad that it's a month long spring break and that her mom now has a car (even if it hardly functions). Slowly, her situation is improving. Hopefully, she'll be able to move to a place where she can afford the housing, and get a job and a car of her own.
It'd be nice if I could just tell her to look for work, except that she not only has no reliable transportattion to get to work, she's practically physically disabled. I'd like her to call the schools and have them send a bus to pick up her kids from the hotel, but I don't know if they would, having never public-schooled my own kids. I wish she would manage her money better and not buy chips and cigarettes, and other things that do nothing but destroy her ad her family's health, but she's already so stressed and overwhelmed that her kids do have to feed themselves, and if the only thing they'll eat before school is the least expensive-yet-tasty convenience "foods", I have no right to judge.
Basically, it's going to take a lot of than ideology and "suck it up! Just ask the church or your family for help," because she had already gone to churches for help, and her family either can not or has a history of deliberately not helping her. I feel like the only way her life can get better us for her to have a spiritual change in her life, but having always been a church-goer and with her reading the Bible, she probably feels that she doesn't need to change spiritually.
Anyway, it's hard, seeing the hard realities of what the current state of life has done. The change that's needed to really help her and her family is far more foundational than politics.
"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -- Thomas Paine
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