Unemployed, Broke, No Family, and in Debt. – Shelia

“Dear Steve,

I recently lost my job due to a conflict with the boss’s son. I had no chance. My claim for unemployment benefits are still pending investigation, while the bills have already spiraled out of control. I don’t even open the mail anymore, as I can’t pay 1 cent and seeing those threatening messages make me cry uncontollably. My stomach is in a permanent state of convulsion.

I was extremely lucky to land an interview recently, but blew it (although I am highly qualified) because I could not control my hands from shaking, my voice from shaking, and I appeared too nervous. Only the best get hired.

I inquired about my competition, and I was one of several hundred applicants. There are just not enough jobs for the population. We have more people than we have available jobs. There will alwayd be people out of work, because, there is not one jb per every willing worker. More like 1 job for every 500 seekers.

I have hundreds of resumes (each resume tailored to make me seem like the perfect fit – I even begun to lie on them out of desperation) out there and I continue to seek work 16 hours a day, my phone just does not ring. Even the local supermarkets are NOT hiring. You must apply on-line with a million others. I have done so, and no response hs been received. Now, I have an overdue phone/internet bill and I will get cut off in a few days. Help. Now, my only lifeline will be taken from me.

I have only poor friends and no family (lost them all through years of being in foster-care) – yeah, I am a poduct of parents who bailed out on raising me.

I am alone and scared. I will also lose my apartment in less than a week. I am teetering on homelessness an will lose all my belongings (which took over 30 years of hard work to accumulate and pay for) in only just a moment – the twinkle of an eye.

What can I do?

I have worked hard for 30 years and now, I lose all. I am willig to wash windows, dig graves, pave the street, make license plates, shovel manuer, ANYTHING, but there in NO work. No work, no work.

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I went bankrupt 5 years ago, and am not eligible for bankruptcy. I am not even eligible for a payment plan, because my income is zero.

I live on Long Island, NY and the shelters are so dangerouse, that we have people living in the woods, because they are safer. You WILL get hurt in a shelter, trust me. There are thugs and junkies in these places. Noplace for a little, petite blonde girl.

I was raped at the age of 13 and forced to have the child (foster care rules) and I have been denied my education from 7th thru 12th grade. BUT, this never stopped me from getting my GED, attend some college courses (had to drop out as I had to provide a roof over my head, because financial aid does not cover the cost of living only tuition) take jobs that I am not qualified for – but demonstated that I could pull it off (and did), and just keep keeping on.

But now, I am up against a crushed economy, and even me, the consistant go getter, cannot earn a penny.

What will become of me? The light has faded from my eyes and I am chkoed up with depression and my hands have begun shaking.

I am feeling sick every day and weak – but cannot afford to see a doctor. Hospitals do not see me as an emergency, so the send me away. They are waiting, for me to almost drop dead before they can intervene.

I have been contemplating suicide as this hopelesness is frightening me out of my sane mind.

What will become of me and the millions like me?

Can you offer any advice?


Dear Shelia,

My gosh, that’s a heavy load to carry and you’ve been through a lot.

The first thing I would do is advise you to not worry about the debt or collection calls. There isn’t anything you can do about them right now so we’ll deal with them latter. In the meantime they may chase you for payment but just be polite and tell them there is nothing you can pay. When things turn around we might have to consider a Chapter 13 payment plan as a solution but there is no need to worry about that now.

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As far as just making it day-to-day I’m afraid I am sympathetic but without answers other than to contact local social service organizations and ask for advice about solutions. It’s not my area of expertise. What I do know is that I’ve never seen a debt situation worth killing yourself over. While it is difficult right now, the good news is there is no where to go but up and the chances of better days ahead is pretty good.

I’m curious, have you registered with all the local temporary agencies? Do you have any folks you know that live in another area of the country where you might be able to go to start over?


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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1 thought on “Unemployed, Broke, No Family, and in Debt. – Shelia”

  1. Hi and thanks – the hug means alot, more than you’ll ever know – even if it’s from a perfect stranger.

    No, I have no folks – I was placed in foster care at the age of 3 and lost all ties with family…

    The Dept. of social services can intervene when I get evicted… I have applied for other services and because, I am not out in the streets at the moment (teetering does not count)they cannot help. There are programs that can help one stay in their home, but ONLY if you have a means of some income… I am just so afraid of these shelters – have always paved my own way – but fear that this is inevitable if I don’t see a miracle in a day or so…

    Anyway, I was crying before, because I feel like I can’t control my own future because opportunities are not presenting themselves, BUT then the phone rang and it was a response to a resume I sent out. I was a bit besides myself, because my background is in commercial property management and this was for a position in the medical field… Hmmmm – this nontheless is a oppotunity for me to seriously engage and attempt to seize, regardless of the industry,

    If your a prayin’ man – please pray for me, as time is of the essence… A few hours could make the difference between thoughts of despair and thoughts of hope…

    Thank you for your valuable time…


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