Foreclosed family in crisis.
July 16, 2012 6:47 PM Subscribe
Resources for foreclosed family to find new place to live in Minneapolis? (Also questions on how to deal with a family crisis in general.)
posted by anonymous to human relations (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My mom recently lost her house and is currently staying with me, along with my 16 year old brother and one of our family cats. I am trying to help her find a new place to rent, hopefully starting August 1st, but am running out of energy to do this search.
Some background: I knew she was having trouble with her payments, but I didn't realize how serious things had become until she called me to say that the sheriff had knocked on her door and given her 48 hours to get out of the house. I think she was hiding the seriousness of the situation from me because she was ashamed, and I think she also was avoiding the paperwork due to feeling overwhelmed and depressed, and didn't realize how fast things could move or how far along in the process of foreclosure she was. She was able to get a slight extension of one week after the initial sheriff visit, but that still gave us an extremely short timeline to get her valuables packed up, arrange storage for them, find a place for her and the rest of the family to stay, and look for a permanent home for them.
My mom is really struggling right now, with general depression and anxiety which is a constant for her anyway, and with feeling like a complete failure because of this. Even before this happened, she was on leave from work due to mental health issues, had started seeing a therapist on my recommendation, and was planning to enter a day treatment program for depression. My brother is doing very poorly in school and is not on course to graduate, is smoking pot, and fights with her regularly (both of them are at fault for this). This is probably the worst point in her life.
I have been trying to pick up the slack, but am feeling overwhelmed myself. I helped her pack until the wee hours before she moved out, and arranged and paid for a storage unit to be delivered. I thought she could stay with a different family member, but when that relative was being extremely judgmental and resentful about it I told her to stay with me (after asking my wonderful partner, who helped with the aforementioned packing as well) in our small duplex rental with our cat. I also have been the one to talk to my brother about what is going on (which has been heartbreaking). There are other issues as well--our other family cat (who is my special pet) is missing, and I have been putting up fliers, wandering around our old house calling for him and calling animal control/humane societies trying to find him for a week now and I am losing hope after one neighbor said they might have seen an animal who was hit by a car a while back (but the timing might not be right). I am also encouraging my mom to send my brother to stay with his dad in another state, since things here are in such upheaval and I think he needs the structure and discipline. Neither of them wants to do this, so I end up the "bad guy" even though I think it's probably the only way my brother will graduate. She also got a dog about a year ago, and I adamantly think he should go with my brother out of state since she doesn't have the ideal dog parent situation and it makes finding a place much more difficult. (He is staying at a different relative's right now.)
Generally, I feel like she has no other support system and nothing will get done if I don't do it myself. I realize this sounds codependent and unhealthy, but it's the honest truth. I feel special responsibility to protect my brother from this awfulness. I was doing well at trying to be distant from the family drama, until this happened (which makes me wonder if I could have prevented it if I had actually known what was going on). On top of all this is the fact that this was my family home, and it's an emotional loss for me, too, even if I don't live there anymore. That, coupled with worry about my cat, gives this whole stressful situation an added level of sadness.
All of this is a long way of saying: I am exhausted and burnt out and want some help. My mom is pretty much internet illiterate, so I spent all weekend looking with her at Craig's List ads and trying to find a two bedroom rental that would accept cats located near her work. She made a list of places and called them all, but hardly any answer and some are taken already and it just takes so much work (and we are running out of time!). I thought "there must be some organization that specializes in giving this kind of help!", but there doesn't seem to be. There are plenty of orgs who help people facing the possibility of foreclosure (if only I had known before this happened), but they have all turned me away when I ask for resources for the actual foreclosed. I mean, what's a homeless family supposed to do? It seems crazy to me. One guy from a foreclosure prevention center literally told me that "that's what daughters are for," when I explained the situation. Really?
I was hoping the hivemind might have some ideas about where to turn. I would also appreciate any other advice if you have faced a situation like this. It's really overwhelming, for both my mom and myself. I would really appreciate any help you could give. Thanks so much.