This isn’t so much a post, it’s more of a rant of rage because it’s something that should have turned out well, but didn’t. What is that saying? The road to hell is paved with good intentions, welcome to hell and the good intentions that got me here….
Two weeks ago my son, the one that works at the same university that I work for, sent me a text asking if I had any blankets I could donate. I asked donate blankets for what? I thought to myself that he was probably asking for donations for his “church.” I say it that way because, as I’ve mentioned before he is “converting” to being a Jehovah’s Witness because of his girlfriend, in order for them to marry.
I told him I had two or three old blankets, but still usable he could have. He said he’d drop by the house after work to pick them up. I asked him again why he needed them, then he proceeded to tell me about a homeless mom and son who were living out of their small broken down car. His girlfriend had come across them at the shopping center where the salon she works at is located. And that my son and Mel (Melissa, not her real name) were checking on them periodically, taking them food, water and such. He told me that Rose (the mom, not her real name) had asked Mel if she had any blankets because it had gotten cold the night before.
Well, this was enough for me to begin to think about how I could help these people. From what my son told me, they were a mom and son who had become homeless due to the COVID situation. She and her 21 year old son had been living in their car for roughly three and a half months. I was sitting at work, crying in my office because the thought of this mother and her son living out of their car was just too much for me NOT to try and do something to help.
That day after work, I got home changed and instead of running I went to Walmart and bought two cases of water and non-perishable snacks/food. I also stopped by the local Savers thrift shop and bought two more, thicker blankets and socks for the mom. I went by the parking lot where my son had told me they were located. I got there and I met Rose, she was in her car with her little dog. I introduced myself to her and she got out, and when she saw what I had taken her she began to cry. So then I began to cry, and soon both of us were crying.
I asked her if there was anything she needed, she said not at the moment. Then I had to ask how she got to be homeless. She told me that she had followed her boyfriend here from Long Beach six years ago, and brought her two kids with her. She mentioned she was from El Paso but had lived in California all her life, and when her ex told her he was moving here for work, she followed.
Then she said their relationship was a rocky one, and that when the pandemic hit and they were together in such close proximity, it turned violent. He kicked her and her kids out of the house they shared, since he was the one that worked and her and her kids had been living out of their small 2001 Chevy Cavalier since then. She told me her son had just recently gotten a job at IHOP, and that’s where he was. I asked about her other child, and she told me that her daughter (19) had left because they argued about Rose being the reason they got kicked out of their home.
The IHOP where he works is about two miles from where their car is. So what did we do? All of us, me, Mel and my oldest bought him a mountain bike for him to get to and from work faster. I also bought him a backpack and the chain and lock for his bike to not get stolen. Snacks to keep in his backpack and lights/reflectors for his bike. My brother came by to change out the tires, put in non-flat inner tubes, clean and tune up the bike so we could take it to Daniel (not his real name.)
Seriously I was emotionally torn….fast forward two weeks later. My son’s girlfriend Mel had been trying to figure out how to get them a place to live. When I told her I’d try to help she was all for it, I went to work the next day tired, my face swollen from crying the night before, and my mind focused on getting these mom and son off the street. I told Imposter Huntress about this, and she came on board with her twin sister (yes, can you believe that? Imposter has a twin!) with money and more bottled water, clothes for Rose and her son. Then it got bigger, Imposter and I were having lunch the next day and my boss joined us in the conference room. She asked what we were talking about, because we had mentioned contacting the Housing Authority about emergency housing. We both were furiously taking notes, eating our lunch and forging a plan to help these two homeless people.
After we explained what we were doing, my boss asked what she could do to help. I told her I’d let her know as we were trying to find somewhere for them to stay. My boss said to me she’d happily donate $2500 to go towards their rent. Both of us were in shock and grateful at her generosity. Now I know that $2500 doesn’t seem like a lot of money. But in El Paso that is, depending on where you can find it, cheap rent for at least six months.
So, I called and told Mel, she seemed…..sedated about the entire thing, seriously that was her reaction. I thought for sure she’s be excited about this. During this time I’d go by and check up on Rose and her son Daniel to make sure they were alright, taking them food and water. During this time their non-working car was in the parking lot of a Walgreens, adjacent to where Mel worked. Rose had told both myself and Mel that the manager of the Walgreens had harassed them, telling them they were drunks and drug addicts. I was to say the least, pissed off!
She said he had called the cops on them and she had spent two nights in jail because of him. So Mel had asked her boss if they could park their car in back of the salon. She agreed, now mind you this woman owns the salon, I’ve met her and she’s a mean Koran lady. So her agreeing to this was to say the least surprising.
So that night me, my boys, Mel’s dad and brother and some high school kids that saw us pushing the car helped us take the car to the back of the building where the salon is located. Mel thought (stupidly) that they’d be safe there. My first thought was, the mean Korean lady rents a space in this building she doesn’t own the actual building. I mentioned this to Mel and she told me (in a very bossy and authoritative voice) that they’d be okay. Now, y’all know I don’t take kindly to shit like that since I’m trying to help, and because I’m a critical thinker and contemplate all of the possibilities of what can and can’t go wrong.
But, I didn’t say anything and my youngest was mad at Mel for talking to me like that. I told him to let it go and that it wasn’t about Mel, it was about Rose and Daniel and getting them to a safe place. I and Imposter were furiously contacting charities and churches to see if we could get help for them. Any help, temporary housing, medical attention etc. Mel, couldn’t do this, okay she could because the bitch doesn’t go into work until 11am when the salon opens. And yes I called my son’s girlfriend a bitch and I’ll explain why later.
During all this time several other people had gone by to visit Rose and her son, they got donated a folding tent, you know the kind one uses at tailgates or for temporary use. Which helped them with the heat, they also got some sports chairs, a cooler, a small table, two sleeping bags and about $150 dollars for their use. As mentioned, I’d go by to check up on them and to give them updates on what I, Impostor and Mel were trying to accomplish. Rose and her son were grateful……at first.
Yes, you heard right, you see I had talked to Rose that even though we were trying to help them, they also needed to put in their part. I told her after she was found somewhere to live, she needed to apply for housing, food stamps, Medicaid, and see if she might qualify for disability. She had mentioned she had a bad back, and couldn’t do a lot of physical work. She “said” she’d tried to look for work but when potential employers found she couldn’t lift or stand for too long, they would tell her they’d let her know and she’d never hear from them again. Now, this for me is a red flag, but that’s just how I think, but I could be wrong.
Because of this, Mel found out I had asked Rose about this and she got mad. Telling me it was none of my business if she was hurt or not. Now this started a snowball of emotions for me because I had liked Mel before this. But now, she was just being a fucking bitch and hoped to God my son wouldn’t marry her. Okay I’m getting off track here, so with this Mel talked to the Mean Korean, and got Rose a part time job at the salon. Cleaning, answering phones and re-stocking the techs stations, which I was grateful for. Now, many people could look at Rose and Daniel and think, at first glance, that because of the extensive tattoos and chopped thug language they are just that, thugs.
But to me, she’s a mom who needs a home for her and her son. I didn’t see that image…..right away at least. Yes I know how that sounds, but I’ll continue. During this time, Mel was telling my son that I was interfering and moving too fast, that I had to let Rose and Daniel adjust to everything I was doing. I thought to myself, is she fucking kidding me? She wants them to adjust to them being homeless?!?! My son told me this and I was furious, but I told him that this wasn’t about Mel, this was about Rose and Daniel and how they needed a huge push at a fresh start at getting back on their feet. My son agreed and he told me he’d talk to Mel.
Meanwhile Imposter and I were getting nowhere with any of the charities we’d been emailing and calling on a daily/hourly basis. My oldest son told me I should seriously consider contacting my ex-husbands wife, you know the one that also works for the university I work for. This is because her sister has a charity/ministry that helps a lot of the community here and in Juarez with food distribution, clothes, counseling etc. I didn’t want to, but when Imposter and I had found ourselves at a loss, I gave in. After all this wasn’t about me, it was about helping Rose and Daniel get out of living in their car and into a house or apartment somewhere.
I called her (reluctantly) and told her what was going on, in turn she called her sister and BAM! In literally half a day, her sister had found them an apartment, furniture, clothes AND the ministry was going to stock their fridge with food for them. I was speechless and y’all know that shit doesn’t happen to me often, right? Okay hold all your snarky comments….you know who you are.
All the ministry needed was two or three check stubs from Daniel, as he’s the one with the job, and their full names and an active email address. I was going to give them mine but I found out that despite being homeless they actually had email addresses and broken down cell phones that worked off of Wi-Fi.
Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon, after I found out that someone was willing to move fast and help these people, I went by to go and collect the information from them so I could email it to my ex-husbands wife, so she in turn could send it to the apartment complex they were working with.
I got there and Rose and Daniel were arguing, and they argue a lot. The bike we bought Daniel was on the ground, just lying there as it had been thrown down. I had told him to please make sure he took care of it and lock it up to the metal door near the rock wall. It’s understandable that they are arguing they are both in each other’s face all the time, their homeless situation, not having enough money to put down a deposit for a place etc. But I (and Mel) had told them they needed to keep a low profile until they got a place so they wouldn’t get thrown out of the parking lot. Although Mel kept telling me this wouldn’t happen because he boss said it was alright.
I got there and had to calm them both down, and let them know the good news. Rose was excited, and Daniel? Not so much, after all he’s a 21 year old kid and even though he’s homeless, he still has a lot of maturing to do. Rose kept telling him to get his check stubs together, all the while he’s on his phone ignoring her. She finally yells at him and he yells back and meanwhile I’m questioning why I’m helping these people…yes I was.
So he gets up all pissed off, looking through a pile of clothes, rifling through them to see if he can “find” the three check stubs I need. Rose yells at him again, telling him why he doesn’t use the envelope she gave him a month ago to safely keep them in. Of course, he yells back and I’m standing wanting to get the fuck out of there.
After 15 minutes he only finds one, I tell him I need three because that’s what the lady at the ministry said the apartment complex needed. He says he can go to work and get copies of them, so I tell him when he does to take picture of them and send them to my private email. I get all the other info from them and leave. All the while I can hear them yelling at each other, the loud raspy voice of Rose resonating off the rock-wall that surrounds the back of the building. I’m mentally and physically exhausted by this point. Mel calls me shortly after, and I tell her that the charity had found them an apartment, she said that she’s happy and tells me that Rose and Daniel have been fighting all day. I told her I was there with them and I had to stop them from yelling at each other….again.
I had given Rose my cell phone number to text me when she had her sons check stubs so that I could check my private email since I’m at work and have to do my actual job so that I don’t become homeless myself. So, yesterday around 9am I get a text from Rose, telling me that someone went by claiming to be a building inspector and told them they had to leave, that it was private property and they couldn’t live there. She said that she didn’t have Mel’s number (even though Mel had given it to her numerous times), so I text back that I’d contact Mel to tell her what was going on. I did, Mel called me all mad and panicked saying that whoever went by can’t do that, they she’s not going to move them, blah, blah, blah.
I let her rant go on until she asked me if I was still on the line, I mentioned to her that actually they can do that since the building doesn’t belong to the Mean Korean, and that someone probably reported them for being loud and obnoxious. And that both of us had told them to keep themselves quiet and not draw any attention until the charity could secure them a place to stay. Mel was not happy….why? Because I had told her the truth about parking the car behind the salon, and that Rose and Daniel weren’t doing what they needed to in order to help themselves. Like getting me his check stubs the afternoon before instead of arguing with each other.
She didn’t say much, but to tell me she had to go and hung up. During the course of the morning, she texted me 32 times, asking if the charity could get them into the apartment sooner than October 1st (that was the time the apartment complex told the charity they could get Rose and Daniel in) and I told her that at the time, I still didn’t have his check stubs, so until them sent them the apartment complex couldn’t send them the application. The application is something they need to do themselves because they need their social security numbers and other personal information. She also proceeded to tell my son that I was being unhelpful, that I wasn’t giving her all the information. He told me he was on the phone with Mel and that she had said she didn’t even know who this charity was, and in the background Rose had yelled that she didn’t know either, that it could be a scam. Mel had said that it all seemed very shady to her and she didn’t even know if there was a “real” charity to begin with. I sent my son the charity/ministry website and he sent it to her, then she said (stupidly may I add) “This isn’t even a charity, it’s a ministry!” So, now I know that she’s definitely NOT the sharpest tool in the shed if she doesn’t know that non-profit ministries are charities, an actual 501c3 may I add.
The Huntress was FURIOUS, first because my poor son is caught in the middle, and second because this snotty little bitch is accusing me of lying to her!!! I told my son I was done, that I was going to give the charity Rose’s and Mel’s number and they could contact them directly. I actually contemplated asking them (the charity) to return the $2500 check my boss so graciously donated and let Mel figure out how they are going to pay for 4 or 6 months’ worth of rent!
My youngest, who lives with my middle son (whose Mel’s boyfriend, keep up with me here) told me that he argued with Mel yesterday when she went by to tell my son that I was being a bitch. My youngest said that he told her that if she went by to bash his mom, she needed to get her fat ass out of their house, and not to come back unless she apologized.
He told me Mel left, but during the time it took her to get home, she had broken up with my son and blamed me because I didn’t move fast enough to help Rose and Daniel. I was fucking furious, first of all because at first she accused me of moving too fast, that they had to get use to the help. Then I’m not moving fast enough for the fat ass control freak because someone reported them due to being loud enough to hear a block away, and were being thrown out of the back of the building!!!
I’m done, I no longer wish to be involved in helping this woman and her son, because not once have I seen them put in any effort into helping themselves. Yes, I do know how that sounds, but let me tell you if I were in that situation, I’d be getting all the information the people trying to help me they needed asap. AND if I was told not to call attention to myself in order to be able to stay where I was temporarily staying, I’D FUCKING DO IT!!
My oldest told me that I need to let Mel take it from here with the help of the charity, and wait for them to use the money for the rent and leave it at that. He made me see that even though I had the resources to help these people faster than Mel could have, Rose, Daniel and Mel wouldn’t be grateful for it, and would never be. I always though my oldest to be somewhat hard-hearted, but that’s because he’s been through some shit, but he made sense in this case. He’s a real softy when it comes to me and his brothers though, and he doesn’t yet know that Mel broke up with his brother. I’m sure when he finds out, he’ll be furious at her, supportive of his brother and telling me “I told you so.”
The Huntress915 on the Highway to Hell….