In September I took in two girls to stay with us, age 10 and 13. Their mother has been helped since the 13 year old was born. The mother was taken to the hospital one night leaving the girls at home alone. I picked them up the next day when they called me to say they were hungry. The older girl says they have moved 33 times in the last couple of years and it seems each place was progressively worse. This last place was two thin moldy mattresses with a couple of blankets on the floor surrounded by their clothing - no furniture - no dishes - no stove...
The mother is now in the State mental hospital. She doesn't need to be there but she does not seem in the shape to work and she is homeless. The doctor at the other mental facility said this woman doesn't want to get better, to take care of herself or her children. She wants her children to help care for her. Now what???? I have known these girls since they were infants and they have had to stay with us before. I am not sure how this will be resolved. I do not want to dump these girls in to the center for minors but I know I can not continue indefinitely.
I got a call this afternoon - Sani's mother and 5 siblings are homeless. They came to this judet and built a squatters shack in a field. No one considered that the owner of the property might object. They were thrown off the land today - where can they go? They are in the field in the rain. I called the center for minors and they will take the children on an emergency basis tonight while the mother figures out what to do. The youngest is only 3, what is this child going to think when they get dropped off tonight? I can still picture in my mind the look in Sani's eyes at 8 when his mother gave him to me.
I received yet another call - couldn't I find a place for the mother? Not wanting to sound harsh but I bought her a house to raise her other children (Sani is the oldest of 10) and she had sold it. She had yet another place after the one I bought (not sure who helped with this one) and it too was sold.
The plight and future of these children breaks my heart. The State no longer has the personnel nor funds to take them. The private places have, by in large, downsized or closed. The costs due to all the requirements they had to meet, especially in staffing, got to be prohibitive. I am hearing about foster care children and adopted children where the families want to give them back to the State - they can't afford them or they didn't realize children that had been in care would be difficult.
It seems to me it is going to be a desperate winter for many children and not a lot I can do about it.