Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

a-z 2015 i

My theme this year is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.


adjective (Formal) destitute, poor, impoverished, needy, penniless, poverty-stricken, down and out, so poor as to lack even necessities; very needy,in want, down at heel (informal), impecunious, dirt-poor, straitened, on the breadline, short, flat broke (informal), penurious, necessitous

One of my readers called me the other night and told me this story. She needed a place to live for herself and her elderly mother. A friend suggested she take over the lease on her trailer. The woman moved herself, her mother, her dog and a couple of smaller animals into the trailer.

Right from day one she had problems with the landlord. He told her he wanted her to move. He had someone he wanted to offer the lease to. Months went by and he continued to harass her and her mother. She reached out to her county agency on aging and her county representatives for help with the harassment. Their idea of helping her was to take custody of her mother and assign a guardian. She was placed in a horrible place. The woman was then served eviction papers, had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized. She called animal rescue from the mental ward and asked them to go get her pets. She got a little better and was moved into transitional housing. She was fined by animal control ($500.00) for leaving her animals.


The woman lost all of her belongings, her pets and her mother.

My heart was breaking listening to this story.

This woman was indigent in every sense of the word but she was strong, educated and determined. Every agency that was supposed to give her a hand up instead did everything they could to keep her under the soles of their shoes.


Should the woman have been prepared for a rainy day, had some savings, a support network? Of course she should and she did. She was prepared for the rainy day not a tsunami.

The good news is this woman is on her way back to the top. She no longer wants to be a victim and she doesn’t want to fight organizations and politicians anymore. She is moving forward and plans to start a rescue for pets left in the situation her beloved pets were in when she was indigent, hospitalized and completely hopeless.

She is speaking this weekend, let’s wish her luck!


I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard.

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

 I am excited to be working with this bunch of fabulous bloggers …

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee



20 Responses to “Indigent…”

  • I’m nodding all the way through reading that post, the result is sadly too predictable. Pets are a problem, many people who live on the edge…barely above being homeless have pets. They love the pets and get the unconditional love they need emotionally, but sadly, they often don’t have the financial situation to care for them and themselves. Having pets complicates where they can go. I wonder if the landlord had a provision that leases couldn’t go from one person to another..not to defend what he did, just wondering about the legal portion of this sad story. I’m sorry to hear she lost her Mother and am sad to know the agency that should have helped her, help them stay together didn’t. Wonderful to hear this woman is getting back on her feet and has a plan for the rest of her life.

  • You’re right in calling what’s happened to the economy a tsunami. My own parents would be homeless if my sister was not able to help them financially. It’s easy to look at people and point like they were careless. God bless.

  • A heartbreaking story indeed. I’m glad to hear she is doing well now. Makes me want to burst into tears. And there are so many folks in her position too. I will be sure to pray for her and others like her.

  • What a terrible story! What really makes me mad is that the very agencies that are designed to help and assist, don’t. Whether they’re so snowed under with “Children and Families” that they can’t be bothered with the elderly – which in itself is a sinister thought – or if it’s just something that’s all across the board and deliberately obfuscating is an open question. I, another friend of mine and a lady we were trying to help with her SSDI had one crazy time trying to figure out the verbiage on a particular form that they had sent her. I had never seen it, when I applied and my friend had never seen it when she had assisted other people, but it was worded so obtusely and seemed to contradict itself. . . in the same sentence!

    On the other hand, I’m glad that lady has decided to take the high road and go out and do some public speaking. I think that the more information, even if anecdotal, is so helpful in changing perceptions in people’s minds about the homeless. I love the idea that she is starting an organization for homeless pets. That really tears at my heartstrings. In Tampa, the Humane Society routinely gives vouchers for free food and 5$ spay and neuters for homeless people’s pets and strays! Thank you, Doreen!

  • What a horrible story! I am so happy that she was able to turn this situation around and do something. The very idea that the agencies that are supposed to protect us from these things helped to perpetuate it is apalling!

  • wow, what a sad situation, but so happy to hear she is moving forward and able to show strength and determination.

  • Oh dear. It might well have been the original renter was not allowed by lease to sublease, so she may have inadvertently set this terrible situation in motion. Wishing her all the luck.Is there a way we can help?

  • cathrina constantine:

    I wish her luck!!!!

  • Good for her for fighting for the cause even though she is no longer affected. The system is absolutely broken, and abused. Kudos to you for bringing awareness to this sad situation!

  • Anne:

    What a terrible situation! I’m glad she’s getting back on her feet. I hope her pets are okay. (Is that them in the picture?) You just don’t know, sometimes.

  • I hope she gets as strong as a body builder and kicks butt on the system!
    Play off the Page

  • What an awful situation! So glad to hear she is back on her feet and starting over from a positive place.

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