How Am I Supposed to Live?

Updated on February 12, 2007
L.G. asks from Middleton, WI
16 answers

Hi,
I'm new here but I thought this would be a good forum to post my question to see if any other mom's out there have any resources. I am currently enrolled full time in school, 3 of my classes are online and one is on campus. I am finding it very difficult to find help with being able to pay my rent as I NEED to study at least 6 hours a day 5 days a week. I know there is subsidized housing out there but I have less than perfect credit. I also am half hispanic but that doesn't seem to make a difference to anyone. I have also contacted my social worker 5 months ago regarding this and she has yet to get back to me. I am at a stand still and on the verge of being evicted what should I do?

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So What Happened?

*UPDATE*2/7/07

Again I would like to thank those of you who offered words of encouragement. However, there seems to be some misunderstanding of what I was trying to say about my heritage. I spoke with my guidance counselor and she informed me that there are grants and scholarships out there for "hispanic" women that I could apply for. That is exactly what I was inquiring about. I was never looking for a "handout" as some of you may have thought. I am willing to work hard for what I need to accomplish and I am doing just that ! I was also looking for more information on subsidized housing in my surrounding counties as it is easier to have to pay a lower rent if I am in school and working, full time or part time, it honestly doesn't matter. I also would like to say that while I appreciate the responses I received about going to school part time and working, I should add that I am 40 years old this July. My degree is going to take me another 2 years to complete and if I decided to go part time I would be falling well into the year 2012. At that point I would be closer to retirement and that is NOT where I want to be. I can finish my degree by 2009 and be working already 3 years at that point and give my kids the life they deserve.
2/6/07
Thank you everyone for your response to my question. I will let you all know that I do work part time for a friend who owns his own business and he pays me to do his HR and PR for his business so I am working as well. I also just got approved for financial aid today, I am not sure if this will cover the cost of my living expenses while I am in school but I surely am going to try to pay my rent ahead of time so that I don't have the option of falling behind. I wanted you all to know that I have dropped out of school 3 times now and doing it again isn't an option for me. I was finding it difficult to find a job that was worth me working after paying for daycare and the bills. That was why I decided to go back to school, I got sick of my supervisors and bosses being 15 yrs younger than me and making $15 to $20K more a year than me so school was the decision I made. I agree with the last person to message me, I am looking at this as an investment in my future, so I will forge on and try to seek the help that I know is out there but thank you to everyone again for the words of encouragement.

More Answers

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L.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

I put myself through college not once but twice as a single mom of two boys. It was rough, but I did it and continued to work parttime. You need to just do what you have to do to support your family. If you have to cut down classes so you can work, then do that. Online classes are there to work around your work schedule. My first degree was all in class and no online. Online wasnt popular yet. I still did it. I know if you put your mind to it, you can too. I wish you luck, but please dont sacrifice your family for school. Work too.

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E.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Work during the day, study at night. If you have a full time schedule at work and at home and have kids- do what I do- when they go to bed its time to study. I enjoy caffeine and also swear by it for the next 6 years until I am done. Good luck.

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M.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hey L., I just wanted to give you a BIG KUDOS!!! Good Job being persisitant and sticking to your school. I was just reading your responses, and think it is funny how different people can read so many things into a simple request. I graduated from the College of St. Catherine in 1995. I was a single mom, (the 1st single mom to graduate from there with my degree!)man was it hard. But someone responded telling you that you need to put your kids 1st. in your prioritizing. Well what the heck does she think your doing? I was in your same boat, and its a very helpless, scary & vernerable spot to be in, my heart truly goes out to you. But keep in mind that in 2 years you will be two years older, will that include a diploma with the prospect of the job of your choice with good money, for you YES. You are being an awesome role model to your kids and anyone who knows you. Believe it or not 2 years is not that far away. At St. Kates they have a great mentoring program called the single parent access & success program, they also have a apt building called Single parent family housing. It is a security building with 2 & 3 bedroom apts. The rent is subsudized and as long as you go to school you can live there up to 4 years I believe. You do not have to go to St. Kates to live there. But you could call St. Kates Mpls. campus to find out more about it. It only has 8 apts in it so there might be a waiting list. But I had a three bedroom apt and only paid $250.00 (I think) 12 years ago. Plus you are surrounded by other single parents in your same situation. Look into it. I was in the 1st group to move in so it was brand new when I got there. But I have driven by it since and it still looks really nice, just not in the greatest area, but like I said its security. Plus when your going to school you use ANYTHING available to you for funds, if that means using your hispanic heritage to get something than girl GO FOR IT!!! You do what ever it takes to get through school, you know when your done with school you will more than make up for any assistance you may recieve now. You will be a better mom being able to spend more time with your children because you will work less making more money, & provide for them so much better. Get what ever you have coming to you, and keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! From personal experiance it is very much worth it!! Good Luck M.

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R.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi L.,

School is the hardest thing to get through, especially when you have kids to support and raise too. But don't give up- it will all be worth it soon enough. The economy is booming- we are at some of the best numbers we have seen in decades as far as unemployent, GDP, and the stock market reports. As you obviously know, there is a lot of competition out there, which is also great for our economy, and you have to have a college degree to effectively compete. As for the money issues: student loans are the only thing keeping me afloat. Its going to suck paying them off, but it is what is going to give me the ability to do so. I am currently finishing my final semseter of law school and believe me, I owe a small fortune, but I wouldn't give it up for anything. You are doing the right thing for you and your kids- just hang in there and be proud of yourself for all that you are accomplishing. You will succeed.

Good luck-- R.

B.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'm half German and it doesn't seem to make a difference to anyone either, so whats your point?

I'm sure you qualify for some assistance, however I doubt you'll get everything handed to you for free, so don't expect it. Taking full time college courses with kids and a part time job and no spouse to help (I'm assuming your not married since you didn't mention it) really doesn't equate to getting the bills paid. IF your a single mother you need to figure in that you'll have to work WHILE going to school, not just work here and there and then expect to get everythign else paid for. IT doesn't work that way.

Your part time job sounds good, but I think going to school part time and working full time would be your best option. It might take you longer to finish school, but you need to earn money to get there and get the bills paid, ya know.

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C.B.

answers from Janesville-Beloit on

You should be able to call the city or HUD to find out where the subsadised housing is located. I know you asked about counties outside of your area but most places will move you further down their waiting list if you don't already live there. Maybr check the phone book under your city to see if there is a rental assistance #. Sometimes there are programs like salvation army that can lead you to people who offer emergency rental assistance if you are about to get evicted. It's a tough situation to be in but I'm sure you'll make it. Have you called the human servies to apply for food stamps or their assistance if you are elidgeable? It may help out as well. Best of luck to you!!

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A.G.

answers from Green Bay on

Hi L. ~
Have you thought of doing a homebased business ? I actually do 3 of them. I do Avon , Homemade Gourmet, and Stanley Home Products. They are all well know companies and provide a good extra income. Plus you can set your own hours. Also talk to your landlord. Maybe there are some household things you can do for the place that can be knocked off your rent. Those are just a few ideas. Feel free to email me [email protected]____.com
A.

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S.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

HI L.,
This probably isn't what you will want to hear but maybe you need to cut back on your class load? It's obvious your a hard worker and trying your best to get somewhere but maybe you need to make some changes in that respect. I was going to school PT and ended up having to take a leave because we just couldn't do it at the time.
Definitely keep hounding your social worker. Call her boss if you have to. Like the other mom said, do it until you're blue in the face.
Best of luck to you!
Dana Reeve said "I learned a long time ago life isn't fair, you just have to forge ahead." Keep forging L.! :)

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C.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

I sympathize with your predicament but since when has being Hispanic (whether half or "full") qualified as a handicap meriting extra financial assistance? As a Hispanic individual I resent the implication that ones minority status entitles them to being granted EXTRA government subsidized privileges. This thought can only lend itself to the assumption that we are as a group are unable to succeed without such assistance. If you need assistance then by all means seek it, but please don’t use your ethnicity as a crutch.

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D.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

apply for financial aid at your school if you havent done so already. you may be able to take out loans that could help with related expenses of daycare, housing, transportation etc. a loan may sound scary, but consider it an investment in your future. once you are done with school you should be albe to afford the re-payment. it is an option that helps MANY people get through school.

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J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Have you considered cutting back on your college hours and finding a part time job? It sounds harder to begin with but it would take the pressure off of trying find other ways of paying the bills plus it will give you a sense of accomplishment of doing this yourself.

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S.G.

answers from Milwaukee on

call 211 from a touch tone phone. but just because your half hispanic doesnt mean you should get handed everything.

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A.L.

answers from Green Bay on

Just a thought. If your social worker has yet to get back to you. (no matter what the subject matter is) That is not right. no matter what you decide to do, I think you need to call her supervisor and just let them know what is going on. I think that it would really help the other people she is not getting back to also. You could "just bring it to their attention".
Sounds like you are on the right track.

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J.F.

answers from St. Cloud on

Hi L.,

I myself am a single mom of 2 kids. I was on the verge of getting kicked out of my place before because I had a medical problem that stopped me from working for a period of time. Yes, there is help out there, but the only problem is you have to I guess "bite the bullet" and get a job. I was going to college too, but I know that providing for my children NEEDS to come before having a job I really want. So, I left school for now. You shouldn't ruin your credit and rental history, you will need that later. As one person metioned there is emergency assistance but even the county or state won't help you pay your rent unless you are employed. You have to have a job in order to get the emergency assistance. They don't want to pay it if your just gonna get a notice again the next month that you are behind. So, to wrap up my advice, you need to prioritize. As hard as it may be, if you can't juggle kids, school and work then one of those has to go and I would hope its school before you lose your place. May not be what you want to hear, but when it comes to my kids, I wouldn't even have to think twice... it would be get a job and balance it all or goodbye school.

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A.D.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi L.,

I am sorry to hear about your problem. I was new to the area and we bought a house that was a fixer upper and it ate all our money! We couldn't pay our bills I started selling Lia sophia jewelry and do one to two shows a week and walk away with aleast 200 dollars in my pocket a show all the way up to 400 a show it is the easiest money I have ever made on the weeks I don't have time for show I have book shows! The start up cost in 149 to get a kit with everything in it and My manager paid for mine until I was able to make small payments to her but then she didn't want them since she makes 10% off me! This has changed my life I am happy,more confident and most of all have meet alot of new freinds. Also we work together on watching each others kids!! Keep your head up something will come along to change your life for the better mine was lia sophia!!!!! If you have any questions or just want to talk email me at [email protected]____.com or call me ###-###-####!!! Have a great day!!

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N.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

I don't really think ethnic background has anything to do with the lack of help your getting, I think economically the economy is suffering a great deal.

I think you should keep contacting people, contact them until your blue in the face, then still keep contacting them. You may be able to apply for emergency assistance, considering what is available and what is priority. In the state of Minnesota, you cannot really get evicted until spring, but it depends on how far back you are with your rent and your individual situation financially.

Have you thought about a part time job to help you out…as many of us are going to school going to work and trying to raise a family. So realistically if you need to study 6 hours a day 5 days a week, that leaves many hours open for opportunity to earn some sort of income…

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