Dear Abby:

In regards to your advice to a homeless family to go to a shelter indicates a lack of understanding on the homelessness issue. For one thing, if this family is able to get into a shelter (many are full and have to turn people away), they may not want to. Have you personally talked to any homeless individuals or to anyone who works at a shelter? If not, allow me to “educate” you on what many experience at shelters.

For women, being out on the streets is dangerous enough and you would think that a shelter would be safer. I invite you to read a post by Eric Jonathan Sheptock regarding the treatment of women at a local shelter.

Need more? Then check out what Carey Roberts has to say about shelters for women.

Splitting up families is nothing new in the world of homelessness since many shelters are for men only, women only or women with children. If folks can’t get into a shelter guess what? They have the privelege of living out of their vehicles. Telling Scared from Texas that going into shelters isn’t breaking up the family is far from the truth. Families living out of their cars will tell you that in many cases, living out of their cars IS safer than going to shelters.

I suggest before giving any more advice to the homeless, it would be a good idea to do some research before handing out a convenient suggestion to just “go to a shelter”. Yes, there are some good ones out there but like I just mentioned, they may already be full.

To Scared of Lubbock, Texas, I have this to say. Please, please visit us at We Are Visible on Facebook if you can get access to the internet. We would love to talk to you about your concerns. Many of us, including myself have been and are in your family’s situation.  

We look forward to hearing from you!

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About invisibull

Let's see now, what should I say on here to make people think I'm more interesting than I actually am...I'm a single mother of two with a passion for helping others less fortunate than myself. I like to write, finished a book and am working on another. Other than that I live a real-life video game where the goal is to get out of homelessness and provide a better future for my kids. Peace!
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7 Responses to Dear Abby:

  1. People really have NO IDEA. I’m so sorry and keep speaking out when ignorance, inexperience and entitlement get it all wrong.

    • invisibull says:

      Hey Patricia, thanks for taking the time to stop by. I’m a fan of Abby’s but when I read the advice she gave to Scared in Lubbock, Texas, I knew there was no way I was gonna walk away from it!

  2. Hmmm. This is sad. I am in Canada and know that shelters here are safe. The women’s shelters are not the same here it seems.
    As far as splitting up the family – yes sometimes this happens, so I can understand this part.
    The other part I don’t understand – is where are these people’s friends and family? Their situation is due to loosing work and things snowballing. Have they been abandoned by family?
    All sad. Hopefully you can help this family as they struggle to get back on their feet.

    • invisibull says:

      Hello Darleen, unfortunately, lack of family support is everywhere. The same has happened to me. My relatives have known for six years how I’ve been struggling but my impression is that putting distance from themselves and this subject somehow insulates against having to deal with it.

  3. - michael - says:

    invisibull,

    Excellent post . . .

    I particularly agree with the line: I suggest before giving any more advice to the homeless, it would be a good idea to do some research before handing out a convenient suggestion to just “go to a shelter”.

    I find it extremely sad that someone like Dear Abby, who so freely gives advice (and who so many put their “faith” in) doesn’t take the time to — as you so correctly pointed out — research the situation prior to dispensing that advice. In this instance, Dear Abby has done nothing more than parrot what the general public would say.

    – m –

    • invisibull says:

      Hey Michael, appreciate the comments. I do agree that before anyone just hands out “advice”, they should first know what they’re talking about especially when it comes to homelessness. I would rather tell folks the raw facts about homelessness than let them hold on to stereotypical images or give them a false sense of hope that the situation will end quickly because quite frankly…it won’t.

  4. Pingback: Tweets that mention Dear Abby: | Invisibull's Blog -- Topsy.com

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