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How much help should she receive?

My neighbor is a single mom. Her ex doesn't help much at all. Several times throughout the year one or more of her utilities gets cut off due to lack of payment. I feel bad about this especially now that is cold. I want to help but I often wonder how she might help herself more. For example, she is seen at the local bar several nights a month and when she is home, I see her drinking beer and smoking cigs. She is asking for help now and I feel like I should help her out someway but I also feel like shouldn't her utilities be more important that getting her drink on? She seems to make a lot of bad decisions with her priorities and asks the neighbors for help out of her situation a lot. What should I do?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on Dec. 4, 2008 in Holidays

Answers (7)
  • we just had a mom like that at my school (drinking and partying, to the point where neighbors knew) who didnt have her heat and water on and she lost her kids to foster care/ she has one year to be clean or loose all 3 forever! not having your utilities on when you have kids and are spending money on partying is grounds for losing your kids. call csb... jmo (that is the best way to help her.. reality check /swift kick in the ass!)

    AmaliaD

    Answer by AmaliaD at 2:33 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I'm sorry, but I would call dhs on her. Her kids need to be in a stable home. Also she can get government assistance on her utilities if she makes less than a certain amount. But if you really want to help her I wouldn't give her money straight out but go pay her electric bill for her. I wouldn't pay a cable or phone bill b/c those aren't neccesities, but electric and water are. Or take her to the grocery store and buy her some food
    SMWOODS

    Answer by SMWOODS at 2:35 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I would do something for the kids only. Maybe buy them some cloths. Don't just hand her some money buy things yourself. For the kids.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 2:37 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • it reminds me of someone I know. her and her hubby drink and smoke, spend money on thngs they don't really need to but when the bills come around they don't have money and they don't have money to buy their son new clothes, even though they don't have a car payment adn their house payment is only 350 and she makes $14/hr and he makes $19/hr. but at least they don't lose their utilities. If they did one of us would be taking their son
    SMWOODS

    Answer by SMWOODS at 2:38 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I would actually call CPS on her or whatever your child services is around there. I think that she doesn't deserve to have her children if she can't get her priorities straight. I worry about her children suffering for her mistakes. When you have a child, you have to realize that they come first.
    Mom1Stepmom1

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 5:46 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I wouldn't do anything for her, but maybe something specifically for the kids (you know something that she can't turn around and "drink"). Some clothes or a few small toys for the kids, but don't give her any cash.
    slw123

    Answer by slw123 at 8:02 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I agree with the above - if you do anything, I'd get things for the kids or make up a food basket or homemade cookies. If people are constantly giving her money they're enabling her to keep up her habits. The kids shouldn't suffer over the holidays because their mother is a drunk. W/ the price of cigs, I can't imagine how anyone can afford to smoke.
    the3jsandme

    Answer by the3jsandme at 8:16 PM on Dec. 5, 2008

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