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Friend became homeless recently

By Goran_K   2013 Jun 5, 2:09am   5 links   11,825 views   44 comments   watch (4)   quote      

Friend called me over the weekend. Said he got kicked out of his apartment in Orange County. He was in a Panda Express enjoying a meal. I drove over to chat with him, and saw he had one bag, and a backpack, all of his belongings he could carry on him. Basically his clothes, laptop, cell phone, and toiletries.

We talked a bit, I knew he had been unemployed for a while, and had been living off savings. He sold his car, and got a bike. Been looking for work in the finance industry for a long time, but never gets a response to his resume submissions. I told the guy he should look for a "normal" job, like at Costco, or Starbucks just to pay the bills. He sort of balked at me, told me it would ruin his resume, and that he was close to getting a job in his industry.

The thing is, this guy wasn't exactly my BEST friend, more like a good former co-worker that I occasionally kept in contact with through e-mail or a phone call. He has family but they're all over the U.S, not in SoCal. I still felt for him though, which is why I came out to see what I could do to help.

Anyway, the weird part happens when he says "Can I hold up at your place for a few days? Just until I can find an extended stay motel to live at." Mind you, every room in my house is occupied at the moment as either a bedroom, or office. Plus my wife told me before I left to see him, absolutely I cannot bring him home.

I offered to give him the money for a week stay at any extended stay motel he could find. He looked at me sort of surprised like he didn't expect my response, but said, "Yeah that works out great. Thanks for the help. I promise to pay you back when I get my first check at the new job."

So we find one in Costa Mesa on my phone using Google. We load his stuff into my car, we drive over to Costa Mesa, and I tell the guy at the front desk I'm buying a week stay. He ask me for a credit card, just in case for any damages after check out, but I tell the guy I'm doing this as a favor for my friend who really is hard up and homeless right now and I'd like to pay cash. He nods his head and says he'll do it without the credit card. Then he says, "I know what you're doing man, I'm going to give you a 10% discount off the bill, it's an employee thing, but I want to help out." I was pleasantly surprised.

We get him checked in, the room has a kitchen, bath, nice queen size bed.

So before I leave, I ask my friend if he would consider staying at the OC Rescue Mission. He says, "I don't think I could go to a place like that, it would be like I'm giving up." I accepted his opinion and went on my way.

As I was driving home, I wondered if I could have done more. After a week, what's going to happen to the guy? He's an educated guy, has some good professional experience, something will come through. That's at least how I imagined it happening in my mind.

« First     « Previous     Comments 5-44 of 44     Last »

5   Facebooksux   2013 Jun 5, 3:46am     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

You stepped up and helped him. That's more than a lot of people would do.

6   magman   2013 Jun 5, 4:11am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

when my grandfather was a young man in ireland ...he had no job no prospects he earned money on the docks in liverpool to pay for passage to america ...he got a job in hostile-to irish BOSTON in the early 1900's worked"every day except christmas" and raised nine kids built a house survived.. i saw him when he was very old his son a doctor had him stay with his family he was welcome in the houses of a school teacher,a postal inspector etc...his kids with what i know now i would shake his hand ...respectful of the hero he had become..i too worked hard learning that it is nt what you do or what you made its what you do with it to leave a mark on your kids so they can become something now those opportunities are gone in this place ...so if i was a young man i would pick up my sack and strike out for some other country (english speaking )and find a new home as it was in ireland this place is played out and barren ...it was a good run for 300 years ...time to take our ingenuity to another country ...leave the place to the landowners overseers and bankers let them wait for their greed to devour them ...emmigrate!

7   dublin hillz   2013 Jun 5, 4:18am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I think if you consider an individual to be a good co worker and not in the good friend tier then you definitely did enough to help out. Yes, if you let him stay in the house it would probably help him out more than 1 week at hotel, but you should definitely discuss it with your wife and come to a mutual agreement. If you guys were both to agree, I think 3 months should be max otherwise the situation can get out of hand.

8   Fucking White Male   2013 Jun 5, 4:22am     ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Sorry Goran but its not gonna work out.

Having lived in a house with multiple roommates, I'm aware of the scams, excuses, etc.

Fact is, your buddy could get two full time security jobs right at this moment @$9-$12 an hour... More than enough to live on.

But he isn't doing that. And that says it all IMO.

9   jsmarket   2013 Jun 5, 4:41am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Good on ya', Goran....a nice deed, indeed.

10   leo707   2013 Jun 5, 5:02am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Being in the "good former co-worker" category I am sure -- at least I hope -- you are not the first person he called, or maybe he was too embarrassed to call a "real" friend.

Hopefully spending the week in a donated hotel room will give him enough perspective to face reality.

If he has been unemployed for "a while" and has been looking for work "for a long time" his resume is already ruined.

He is not "close to getting a job" unless he is -- at the very least -- getting call backs for second round interviews, the long time silent responses to his resume should be a deafening proclamation as to the status of his job search.

You are correct that he should expand his job search to include Costco, Starbucks, etc. Being able to pay ones' bills is much more attractive to a perspective employer than homeless/couch surfing longtime unemployment. It sounds like he is letting his pride get in the way of his survival.

Anyway, it sounds like you have done more than could be expected of you for now. I would probably check in on him in a few days and see how things are going.

I am sure that it sucks to be in his position and I hope everything works out in the end.

11   Tenpoundbass   2013 Jun 5, 5:21am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Yeah tell him to go to the HR gloryhole at Starbucks they'll give him a job and a badge.

12   Hysteresis   2013 Jun 5, 5:24am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Goran_K says

Been looking for work in the finance industry for a long time

1. how long has he been unemployed?
2. you don't need to put your starbucks job on the resume. i would've told him to: "get a job, slacker"

13   lostand confused   2013 Jun 5, 5:36am     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Hysteresis says

you don't need to put your starbucks job on the resume. i would've told him

Yeah. When I finished my post-graduate degree and was looking for a job, I worked temporarily for one of those 900 lines where people call to have a good time and they charge 4.99 bucks a minute to talk dirty. My job was to talk to the caller and take down his preferances and pass it on to the women. Interesting job-but you don't see that in my resume! :)

But Goran, very nice of you to help out. Sometimes, when people get into that funky, depressed mood, it gets very difficult to snap out. I myslef fell into a bad state once. Bad decisions, bad luck and events all combined and led me to a place where I could not dig out myself. I was practically estranged from my parents at that time-they are well-off and very old school. Hard working, save every penny , but very vocal about their opinion. I had to go back and make adjustments to my self. I think too much govt welfare is not good-people do not want to adjust as long as you get a check with no strings attached.

Of course this case is different, who knows his personal story-sometimes it just is not your fault. But hope he snaps out of it and moves on. Life is like that.

14   New Renter   2013 Jun 5, 5:48am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

CaptainShuddup says

Don't apply for UE, it is a disqualifier for ever working in your field ever again. It's toxic to your career and companies don't want you after that.

How will employers know if you collected UE?

15   Goran_K   2013 Jun 5, 5:50am     ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

That's the thing that kills me. He's talking about how working at Costco is a step down, and how living at a shelter is giving up. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to survive.

I don't want to force my value system on him, but when you're pretty much on the streets, that's sort of a desperate situation.

16   turtledove   2013 Jun 5, 6:07am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I think you are a very kind person. You cannot kick yourself for not having the words to help your friend realize that the rules change when one is desperate. He has to come to that realization on his own.

It's not always easy to change the lens through which one sees life. Sounds like his pride in his past accomplishments are all he has right now. I think you show a great deal of compassion not stripping him of that. Hopefully, he will soon realize that what he's holding onto are just titles and don't really define who he is as a person. But no one can make him know that until he is ready to accept his situation as it is now -- and not what it was a couple of years ago.

17   waiting_for_the_fall   2013 Jun 5, 11:18am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

He hasn't hit rock bottom yet. When he's sleeping on the streets, he'll realize working at Costco is not the worst thing in the world.

18   MsBennet   2013 Jun 5, 4:26pm     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Sounds like there is something wrong with his thought process, but it was nice of you to do that for him.

19   JodyChunder   2013 Jun 5, 5:33pm     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

You did a fine thing, Goran.

The benefit of having some cheap desert acreage is that you could have pitched a yurt for him far enough out from the little lady that she'd hardly know he was there. Then put him to work around the spread...washing the cars, implement maintenance, cooking, cleaning, painting, running fence...

Anyway, could be someday this fella gets his shit back together and can help you out in return.

Never ask for whom the bell tolls!

20   Goran_K   2013 Jun 6, 12:03am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Thanks for the input guys. I sent him an e-mail for the rescue mission. He can decide to go there or not. I hope he's smart and decides to take the opportunity to get back on his feet.

21   jsmarket   2013 Jun 6, 12:59am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Many more applicants than jobs at Costco these days....it's not a slam dunk that a job at Costco would be offered to him.

Dollar Tree, perhaps....

22   casandra   2013 Jun 6, 1:52am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

i recently had a friend become homeless. i gave him some money but refused to take him in. Others did and they are no longer friends.
Also, looking back, I watched him do everything to himself to make himself homeless after his live in girlfriend of 8 years left him.
Once his unemployment ran out cause he stopped showing up for his job, he applied for disability insurance and got it along with 180 dollars a month on an EBT card.
The guy now is set for life as soon as his section 8 kicks in. Whats wrong with him you ask, No Job !

23   Tenpoundbass   2013 Jun 6, 2:00am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I don't lend friends money, but I will pay them to never ask me for money again, until they at least pay me back for the money I give them.
I make that clear up front. They don't have to feel pressured to pay me back next week, or next month. Because that usually sets a pattern. Chances are by the time they get the first money to pay back anything. They are so far behind on everything. That if they are actually honorable enough to consider paying me first. Then chances are great they'll just be back next day, week or next month to make up the difference in paying you back, that it made them short on their current needs.

Pay me back when you get on your feet or don't. But don't ask me for more money.

That way I don't lose people as friends or family.

24   Tenpoundbass   2013 Jun 6, 2:24am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Robber Baron Elite Scum says

You should taken him home...

I think there should be some untold standard of respect on Patnet, that you don't inappropriately quip on folks families.

You can call me a red headed no good son of a bitch, an asshole and chicken fucker, but leave people's families out of it.

25   Goran_K   2013 Jun 6, 2:35am     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I agree. No bashing on people's families, or ridiculous untasteful comments.

26   errc   2013 Jun 6, 2:36am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

dodgerfanjohn says

Sorry Goran but its not gonna work out.

Having lived in a house with multiple roommates, I'm aware of the scams, excuses, etc.

Fact is, your buddy could get two full time security jobs right at this moment @$9-$12 an hour... More than enough to live on.

But he isn't doing that. And that says it all IMO.

I've always had good experiences with communal living. The way to make it work is to take charge. Most people are followers, so long as you can be a good leader and run the show, set good examples, and take no bullshit, it can work well for everyone.

My third house was my sophomore year at university. We' d have big parties every Thursday, and regardless of who had to work the door and sell cups, the money would land in my pocket at the end of the night, and if you didn't hang around and help clean up, you wouldn't get your share. That was usually always motivation enough.

Human capital trumps dollars everytime, and thru these types of relationships, I have a stable of useful friends now that can help me out with anything id need, that I couldn't do myself. Reciprocate in kind

Good on you, goran

27   Robber Baron Elite Scum   2013 Jun 6, 2:39am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Goran_K says

I agree. No bashing on people's families, or ridiculous untasteful comments.

But what about the comment where he gave me permission to call him a "red headed no good son of a bitch, an asshole and a chicken-fucker"?

Can I at least call him that from now on?

28   Tenpoundbass   2013 Jun 6, 2:42am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Robber Baron Elite Scum says

Can I at least call him that from now on?

You bet pudding pants!

29   New Renter   2013 Jun 6, 2:50am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I don't know if this is an option where your friend is but up here the EDD runs promatch:

http://promatch.org/

It's free and I found it useful to keep my job search going.

30   Goran_K   2013 Jun 6, 2:51am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

It is distasteful, but Captain doesn't seem to have a problem with it. No harm, no foul.

31   futuresmc   2013 Jun 6, 3:14am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Hysteresis says

Goran_K says

Been looking for work in the finance industry for a long time

1. how long has he been unemployed?

2. you don't need to put your starbucks job on the resume. i would've told him to: "get a job, slacker"

Resumes are obsolete. If he's looking for work in finance, they're going to do a detailed background check and when they do they'll find the Starbucks job. And he's right. There are certain things you can't do, like take a service job or collect unemployment if you have worked in finance and want to re-enter the field.

My dad worked in hospital administration and he wouldn't collect unemployment either. He knew that the background check would out him and he'd never get a management position again. Thankfully, he got another job within three months (this was back in 2004, so before the recession). If this guy takes the McJob, or multiple McJobs, that's his future, low paid service work. HR can afford to be choosey and just like some jobs require college degrees even though most high schoolers could do them, so HR can weed out people who did the right thing and took whatever work they could get when unemployed. It's reprehensible, but it's the way the system works.

32   dublin hillz   2013 Jun 6, 3:15am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

futuresmc says

There are certain things you can't do, like take a service job or collect
unemployment if you have worked in finance and want to re-enter the field.

Why would it look better to be unemployed? Is there some sort of implied classism on the part of hiring managers?

33   Vicente   2013 Jun 6, 3:31am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

dublin hillz says

Why would it look better to be unemployed? Is there some sort of implied classism on the part of hiring managers?

Yeah frankly I don't get it. A long gap in your resume, or the background check mentioned above are going to show a hole. How is being homeless better than collecting UE? I'd think a "no permanent address" has got to be bigger baggage. Seriously, who has not ridden with someone that sees someone "looking homeless" on the roadside and they hit the power door locks? There's an assumption engrained in American culture that hobos are criminals until proven otherwise.

34   errc   2013 Jun 6, 3:40am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

if I was this guy, id begin my resume with "hey, at least I knew better then to discuss my side capers with out of town women, lest ole gorank square ass would have narced me out to my old lady"

That should count for something

35   New Renter   2013 Jun 6, 3:56am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

futuresmc says

There are certain things you can't do, like take a service job or collect unemployment if you have worked in finance and want to re-enter the field.

My dad worked in hospital administration and he wouldn't collect unemployment either. He knew that the background check would out him and he'd never get a management position again.

Again, why is collecting UE such a no-no? This is the first I've heard of it. Do you have any evidence a prospective employer's HR even has access to this information?

36   Tenpoundbass   2013 Jun 6, 4:08am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

dublin hillz says

Is there some sort of implied classism on the part of hiring managers?

Of course there is, there's not a day goes by that CNN isn't reinforcing that classism. Of course if you ever want to work in your industry again, never ever take advice from a CNN article on how to find a job, or what to do now that you're unemployed.

First they tell unemployed people to do all of the standard quick fix stuff, then the next day they report on how HR managers nation wide will look down their noses on them.

37   CMY   2013 Jun 6, 4:10am     ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

New Renter says

Again, why is collecting UE such a no-no?

Honestly, it sounds like some sort of superstitious tale cooked up by someone with *zero* UE experience OR someone who blamed that (instead of a consistent work history) for not landing a position.

38   Tenpoundbass   2013 Jun 6, 4:13am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

New Renter says

Do you have any evidence a prospective employer's HR even has access to this information?

Not really public record, but lexus/nexis knows as does anyone in a credit agency.

39   lostand confused   2013 Jun 6, 4:27am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Well, I know quite a few people who went on unemployment and still manage to find projects. One person regularly goes off a few months after every project and goes on unemployment. Since the project was over and he got rolled-off, they never denied his claims. He does not have trouble finding projects.

But most of the people I interact with over the last few years have been consultants who work through companies that then contract with the preferred vendors. But I work in mostly big corporations that employ armies of contractors for projects-so maybe different?

40   Quigley   2013 Jun 6, 4:57am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

I think if I were to lose a tech job and have some trouble finding a new one I'd go back to school for a semester. That way I could claim I was improving my skill set and also would have a chance to network, possibly get leads from staff or other graduating students on job prospects.
Just my thoughts.

On a related note, there's a species of human who always needs a handout and never seems to be able to stand alone. People call them lazy or unfortunate or swindlers or panhandlers or mooch artists. I've learned better. They are simply people who have no compunction about taking other people's money and are just way too lazy to be bothered with supporting themselves or others. It's a very mild sort of sociopathy, but it's highly annoying if you have one in the family. Be aware: they never get better because they truly don't want to improve themselves. Instead life is a game whereby they win only when they successfully guilt others into giving them what they need.

41   New Renter   2013 Jun 6, 12:40pm     ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

CaptainShuddup says

New Renter says

Do you have any evidence a prospective employer's HR even has access to this information?

Not really public record, but lexus/nexis knows as does anyone in a credit agency.

A LexisNexis report does indeed contain insurance claim information but only for home and auto claims:

https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/

No mention of unemployment insurance at all.

Unemployment claims also are NOT reported to credit agencies:

http://www.experian.com/ask-experian/20080319-unemployment-claims-do-not-affect-your-credit-report.html

I do not know this for a fact but it was my impression unemployment claims are kept confidential for precisely the reasons you outline. There is also the logic former employers have a stronger motivation NOT to disclose this information since if the person does not get a job, their claim will continue to drain the pot AND it can come back to bite them as a lawsuit.

Now if you know something I don't please share, if not please say so and we can move forward.

42   drew_eckhardt   2013 Jun 6, 1:00pm     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

New Renter says

I do not know this for a fact but it was my impression unemployment claims are kept confidential for precisely the reasons you outline. There is also the logic former employers have a stronger motivation NOT to disclose this information since if the person does not get a job, their claim will continue to drain the pot AND it can come back to bite them as a lawsuit.

1. The company which formerly employed you is contacted to validate the reason you gave for separation which determines eligibility. They could pass that information on to a future employer.

2. Financial services companies often ask applicants for their tax returns and those should include 1099G forms for unemployment insurance payments.

43   New Renter   2013 Jun 7, 12:59am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

drew_eckhardt says

New Renter says

I do not know this for a fact but it was my impression unemployment claims are kept confidential for precisely the reasons you outline. There is also the logic former employers have a stronger motivation NOT to disclose this information since if the person does not get a job, their claim will continue to drain the pot AND it can come back to bite them as a lawsuit.

1. The company which formerly employed you is contacted to validate the reason you gave for separation which determines eligibility. They could pass that information on to a future employer.

2. Financial services companies often ask applicants for their tax returns and those should include 1099G forms for unemployment insurance payments.

Again unless one's former employer has a serious beef with the applicant in question it's to their advantage NOT to disclose UE info.

1) If the applicant gets the job the HE claim stops
2) The former employer risks a lawsuit, a bad reputation, or or worse, a workplace tragedy if it became known disclosing a UE claim sabotaged the application.

There is a reason most companies will only disclose the required minimum information.

Not being in the financial services I've never been asked to submit tax forms. IMO if the only reason one is passed over for a job is that they legally collected a claim for which they were entitled (yes, I said the E word) that applicant is better off NOT working for those jerks. I'd also love to have an expert weigh in on the legality of this issue.

Are you sure you haven't been mistaking unemployment insurance claims with disability claims? The latter seems more logical to be a red flag for potential employers

44   Goran_K   2013 Jun 13, 3:41am     ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Hmm. I'd love to post it, but you're right, I don't want to attach his resume to a homeless thread about his life...

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