Thursday, June 19, 2008

Help! I need some....

Ok, here it is. As you may or may not know, I have a guest and her name is Josie. She just turned 20 and is pregnant. She has a poor relationship right now with her family down in Sonoma County.

I met her at the Stirring, and when I found she'd be homeless the following day, I invited her home. Well, of course. Who wouldn't? She's wonderful and sweet, but I have a 2 bedroom townhouse and two children already.

I picked her up the next day (did I mention she didn't have a car?) and she had exactly 3 suitcases of clothes and 2 grocery bags of food. That's it. She's sleeping in the kids' room, since she can't really sleep on the couch since she's pregnant, so my kids and I are all in one room.

She's been here now for nearly a month. I've been trying to encourage her to reconcile with her parents, and she's tried a bit, but perhaps it must be very hard to be 20 and on your own and have to go home and follow rules again. I don't know - I never had the chance.

My invitation didn't have a time limit, but I thought she'd be looking to find something else as soon as possible. I mean, who wants to live with a middle-aged woman and her two little kids?

I've been encouraging her to visit HUD and other agencies to get assistance in living....but I've never been through that myself, so it's a bit hard. I've been trying to get her together with a young woman I work with who was in her situation a few years ago and has ROCKED her way out. My coworker has a 3 year old daughter, an education, a good job, an apartment, a car....

But Josie has a lot of friends and is very busy and we haven't been able to coordinate a visit between the two.

She's taking a short-term nanny position Monday until July 3. I just don't think I'll be able to invite her back - I CAN'T jeopardize my lease, and my daughter has been showing some signs of kids don't take well to change (they love her, but are showing signs of stress). And my City of Redding bill has been through the roof with someone being home all day...

So, I'm throwing this out to the world, and sending it with prayers:

If anyone out there knows the way to maneuver public agencies (really her only option right now) please come forward! We could really use your help. I'd love to see her settled in a little apartment well before the baby comes. Or if you know someone who has a little mother-in-law unit or even just a room to rent..she does work one day a week and gets unemployment as well, so I would imagine she could pay you some kind of rent.

I tried calling those places that advertise themselves as helping young single women (you know who they are) and frankly, they were no help at all. Apparently they are gung-ho to help women decide not to abort, but after the decision is made, you're on your own...(sorry, that's a rant for another day).

Apparently, everyone thinks since she's living here with me I will continue to take care of her. I wish I could, but I just can't.

This is so difficult. I wish I could just keep her here as long as she needed, just like I wish I could adopt 10 more kids - but the reality is that I just don't have the room and I can't afford it.

Send me a message if you have any ideas, okay? Blessings to all who read this.


Erica said...

Annie don't feel bad at all you have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Why don't you call into the office sometime this week and ask for Nate or Dan just to see if they have any options. You have been gracious and kind. Thank you for opening up your home.

Keith said...

Annie, I just had a conversation with my roommmate ythat began, "Keith, remem,ber a year ago when we said this was a temporary arrangement..."


Tough times calls for tough measures. Even young people when faced with new challenges come out stronger when they see what they have to do to make things right....

You know this valley. You know there are a vast amopunt of services available to youing pregnant women. You know they are not easy options. Still, you know the harrassment I have taken over not taking care of MY business...

My mistakes are public.