Unemployed troubled friend soon to be homeless, how to help?
February 2, 2010 1:36 PM Subscribe
I have a friend who I think is likely to be homeless soon. I can't take him in, so what can I do to help him? We are in the northern Chicago suburbs (Lake County).
posted by Reverend John to Work & Money (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My friend has been out of work for a few months, is far behind on his rent, and is expecting an eviction notice any day now. He has some issues. He has epilepsy, also his teeth are a disaster, and I don't know if he has any particular qualifications for any job.
This guy has had troubles his whole life. His mom died when he was nine, his dad is on disability in California. He has a brother who lives somewhere downstate and has his own issues with mental illness. In short, he has no nearby family to help him.
I've helped him out a few times over the last few months with some money for medications, food, and to keep his landlord at bay, but I'm almost out of any financial assistance I can give him.
He is not unintelligent or unpleasant. I don't know what kind of employee he is, but his last job was at a gas station, which he lost under circumstances which might have been unfair but were at least partially his own fault. However I believe he is willing to work, and could be a good employee in the right setting. Unfortunately he has no car, no bike, no means of transportation beyond his feet. I'd be willing to buy him a bus card to help him get to a job if that's what he needed, and probably will give him one so he can expand his job search. Right now he's living in downtown Waukegan.
He doesn't have regular access to the internet. I've urged him to use the local library, but he also has a particular misdemeanor legal cloud hanging over his head which complicates that. I've urged him to disregard that since it doesn't actually preclude him from using the library, but I understand his reluctance. I think if he had regular net access he could use it to help himself find resources to help his situation, as well as use it to help himself become more employable, by learning new skills.
I want to help this guy. I think he could be a normal, productive member of society, but his problems are snowballing on him. I've thought about helping him get job training, get certifications; I've been trying to get him to consider getting an MS Office Specialist Cert, since I think that would be easy and he'd learn some skills which could be useful. I remember not too long ago when I approached a temp agency they about flipped when I demonstrated what I considered minimal proficiency in Office, and I know from my working since then that someone who shows reasonable competence in Excel is well thought of. I'd also consider helping him get other certs if it would help his situation. He had a lead on a job as a short order cook in a cafe/bookstore, but fell through because they needed someone with "Food Service Certification", whatever that is. And I've been thinking of suggesting he get a Commercial Drivers License (though I don't know if he currently holds or has ever held a regular drivers license).
Anyhow, I'm trying to think of how I can help this friend of mine. Both to find a job, and also to help him find a stable living situation until he finds some kind of a job. Any other pointers towards help for the poor or homeless would be welcome too.