Food pantry question

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JPG, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    My homeless son keeps telling me that he went to our food pantry (for once a month assistance) and they gave him food but told him the next time he's going to have to show proof of income. Upon my insistence he went the following month (because I just couldn't believe this was true) without proof of income and they told him they'd give him food but this was the last time unless he showed proof of income. I'm not sure who's got the story wrong. I imagine many homeless people are not working. I do realize the people that stay at the shelter receive breakfast, lunch and dinner but he will not stay at the shelter.

    Does anyone know how this works? I've tried calling the local food pantry but no one has gotten back to me.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, through my nephew, you absolutely have to show proof of income. They have limited supplies and there are unfortunately people with enough money to buy food who will take free food if they can just walk in and get it. My nephew had to show proof of income and can shop for free food once a month. Thats how they do it by him.

    There must be a way to show your son has no income? . Many homeless are on SSI which is income. Maybe your son should apply for SSI. SSI offers a lot of perks, including food stamps and housing help and help with almost every facet of life if the person accepts it.

    Meanwhile, your son can eat at the shelter for now. It is his decision not to. If he is truly starving, he would go. He wont let himself starve. Our kids are resourceful. He will find a way to get food.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Our food pantries don't require this, but I know of one in a neighboring county that does. One of the free medical clinics here requires it. I wish he would go to the shelter. Is he concerned about safety at the shelters? A lot of people here won't go because of the no weapons policy. Some feel they need a knife for self defense. There are a lot of fights, particularly in the men's quarters, so I understand this.

    What is your son's reason for keeping his car and needing to always fill it up with gas? If he's not driving to work, treatment, or doctor visits, it seems the car is a liability.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  4. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I see what you mean then. I hadn't thought about those who would abuse the system and would be working and still able to go and get free food. So this son, has no medical diagnosis except by me which is severe anxiety. (he did go through about 2 yrs. of drug use in his early 20's but now if he could have his way would be Non GMO food.) He is still at the point where he is does not see this as his "issue" and until he does at 30 yrs. old, there is nothing I can do to push him to SSI etc. He wants to keep the car because that's what he's living in. I feel obligated to keep gassing him up because then he will be on the streets. He has never expressed to me "why" he doesn't want to stay at the shelters but I assume it's a lot of what you've mentioned. I agree the car is a liability "to me". I've put alternator's in it, new tires, new batteries etc. Whenever he gets angry, he threatens to sell it (oh because I bought it and am still paying on the loan). I've told him go ahead! Sell it, the burden would be off me. I would love to cut my losses.

    Since even in his early 20's (he went to college for 1 1/2 yrs. and that's when he fell into drugs etc. and then could no longer continue because academically his grades were too poor). I have been paying his student loans since 2009 and have another 10 yrs. to pay them, just for this short time he went. Anyways, he had a bad "coming out" because of the way his alcoholic father handled it, and unfortunately, at the time (I'm now divorced) I didn't have a backbone to stand up to the alcoholic/i.e., tools given to me now in Al anon. He has blamed all that and so much more on us and has only worked intermittently in the last 10 yrs. Always, quits a job because of one "injustice" or another. He was living with us (doing nothing but playing video games up until the divorce 2 yrs. ago) so all he had to do was listen to us complain about his not working and our demands for him to get a job. He managed to do that most of the time and not work. He lashes out verbally to me (verbal knives) the minute I don't give him something he wants. Food, gas, etc. I block and unblock him like a roller coaster.

    The one boundary I have managed to keep is to not allow him or his younger brother to live with me. I cannot and will not go through the verbal harrassement and disrespect they give me in my own home and deal with someone sleeping until 3:00pm while I'm at work all day. Can't do it, won't do it anymore. Of course, they cannot believe how cruel and unkind of a mother I am to not allow this.

    I think most of my guilt comes from the fact I didn't realize how much I was enabling both sons through the years, but I was living an insane life with a chronic alcoholic who was also sucking the life out of me and I didn't even know it. I was in survival mode all the time and think I failed with my sons. If they didn't want to do something, like get a job or mow the lawn, I didn't force their hand "enough" because then a "war" would ensue because the alcoholic husband would start a fight and the police would show up. I couldn't win so I pretty much did everything myself, mow the lawn, paint, repairs, take care of kid functions, etc. etc.

    So I have a long way to go in the journey but I really, really want peace. I do have this now certainly way more so than I ever did. But I heard someone at my Al anon meeting the other night who said she no longer, forces her answers on others, tries to fix everything and or thinks all her answers are the right ones. I want to have "that". She exuded so much peace. That's my goal.
  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    How long have you been in Al Anon? Dont be hard on.yourself. Getting there takes time.

    On the shelters, around here you have to be sober to use them. I dont know if they drug test or not but I do know a lot of people who wont use shelters because you cant be.high or use any drugs while there or drink. That issue has been on the local news.

    This is a rather conservative state. There are no free medical clinics here. Just in the nearest big city and thats hours away. Every state has its own fingerprint. Not all states have lots of services for the homeless. I traveled for business. California andNew York, at least in the cities, were way different than Mississippi and Alabama. Where we live now....more in between. Im glad Kay at least has Medicaid in her state. Not that she goes to evil doctors or anything!!
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  6. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Thanks BM...I've been in Al anon for about 2 1/2 yrs. I have, however, 30 yrs. of living with an alcoholic under my belt. As we learn there, we are sick from the disease as well. So, I have a lot of "healing" but at least I'm headed in the right direction now.:)
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  7. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    I think different shelters have different requirements (depending on who funds them - church, city, county, etc.). If you know what one he goes to, you could always give them a call and see if they have requirements.

    I agree, be gentle on yourself. ❤️
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    A lot of the income requirements for food pantries depends on the state you live in. In my state they keep records, but you don't have to show proof of income. You have to state your income, but not show proof. I volunteered at one for a while and this was all that they did. If he really NEEDS food, he will figure out a way to show proof of income or he will eat at a shelter. Otherwise, he isn't that hungry. He may whine at you about it, but really, it isn't your problem.

    Did you have to cosign on the student loans? If you didn't, stop paying them. Let them go and find him. Tell them that it is not your debt and you are not paying for it. As to the car, do what you feel comfortable with. If he sells the car, you will likely still have to keep paying the loans unless the money he gets goes to pay off the car. You won't be able to claim it was stolen as your son had the car and sold it. To report it as stolen, you would have to press charges against him. Again, do what you feel comfortable doing. It takes time to get comfortable with all of this. As they say, "Progress, not perfection!"