Homeless, pregnant and panhandling

This is a photo of a homeless, pregnant friend of mine, flying a sign at a busy Greensboro intersection on a cold winter afternoon.  The sign reads:

Lost Job. Pregnant. Homeless. Hungry. Anything helps! God bless!

She and her husband are expecting a baby in a couple of months. They have a camp under a bridge and they sometimes sleep on a relative’s couch when the nights get too cold. They’re on a waiting list for a government housing voucher. She recently lost a job and both are looking for employment.  She had an interview this week and is waiting to hear back.  I hope she gets the job.

I’ve known them for at least five years, and I know some of the struggles they face.  I love them both.  I’d love to see them inside, in their own place, before the baby is born.  But my friend said to me today, while she took a break from holding her sign,

“Being homeless and pregnant’s not a priority for getting housing anymore.  There’s too many people in need now.”

A sad reality.

24 comments on “Homeless, pregnant and panhandling

  1. Andrea March 8, 2009 6:00 pm

    Im Six Months Pregnant And Homeless… The Housing Authority In My County Are Not Even Accepting Applications Till After My Baby Is Born.
    They Say If Your Already On A Waiting List And Pregnant It Usually Doesnt Take Very Long At All (About 3 Weeks). Best Of Luck To Your Friend.
    God Bless…
    A.B.

  2. Cara Michele March 8, 2009 10:57 pm

    i’ll pass along your best wishes to her. God bless you and your baby, too. i pray that all goes well for you and that you are in a home of your own very soon, with a healthy, happy baby. :)

  3. sjj March 12, 2009 12:43 pm

    She is your FRIEND and YOU can’t even offer her your couch to sleep on or your garage to shelter in instead of being pregnant and SLEEPING UNDER A BRIDGE? Advocating for the homeless is well and good but when you won’t even materially help someone you call a friend, how can you claim to be doing anything?

  4. Cara Michele March 12, 2009 1:29 pm

    Because I don’t have my own home, either. I can’t afford it. I’m a single mom with a very limited income. My kids and I live with my parents. One of the reasons that I do outreach and advocacy is that I’m so grateful for the safety and security that my dad has provided for me and my children, and I realize that so many people don’t have that. I may not be in a position to give a lot materially, but God has allowed me to use my voice to advocate, and He’s given me His heart to love and serve homeless people. I do what He enables me to do. And sure, sometimes I get frustrated and overwhelmed with the hurt and pain my friends experience, and I feel like what I can do is never enough, but frankly, it’s an honor to be able to help in any way, and God reminds me that it’s not my job to do everything — just what He gives me to do, and He always equips me for that. We are the Body of Christ together. None of us is called to do it all alone. I can’t take my friend home, but I can share her experience with others. Just today, I got an email from an organization interested in her story. I’m going to keep doing what I hear God calling me to do. And I feel peaceful about that.

  5. Brandon March 13, 2009 9:54 am

    “materially help someone”

    –because that is really all these folks need, right?

  6. Rebecca April 9, 2009 3:43 pm

    Hello Michele,

    My name is Rebecca Lock. I’m a television producer in Washington, DC. I am working on a documentary series for Discovery Health. We’ll be telling the stories of women who are pregnant and whose pregnancies are exacerbated by a difficult circumstance. We’d love to film someone who is pregnant and homeless. Each woman featured will receive $1,500 for her participation, which I’m hoping will help her get back on her feet. I’m wondering if you can put me in touch with your friend. Hopefully, we can help her and tell her story. I can be reached at 310-562-0686 or rlock@sirensmedia.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

    Best,

    Rebecca

  7. sheidi clarke July 18, 2009 1:10 pm

    hello my name is sheidi clarke me and my girl friend are homeless and she is pregnat we been job hunting walking store to store but we live in florida and if the heat not bad enough we live in manntee county the meanest place for home less people shelters are full and scarce we sleep in a ahnd ball court and blankets i dont know what to do or who to turn to i feel like if we can find aduqit housing she is gonna lose the baby i need as much help as we can get so if you could send me in the right direction i would be thankfull

  8. sheidi clarke July 18, 2009 1:13 pm

    you have to help you family be for you can help any one else you are doing the right thing cara she need a friend it’s hard out here friends are far and wide to homless people

  9. Cara Michele July 18, 2009 3:02 pm

    Sheidi, I’m in North Carolina and I’m not familiar with resources in Florida. I’m sorry, I wish that I knew who to tell you to contact, or how to help more. Maybe someone will see your comment and be able to offer more help. I assume you’ve already contacted the helping organizations in your area. I’ll be praying for you and your girlfriend and the baby. God makes a way where there’s no way. I know that might sound lame, given the situation you’re in, but I have seen miracles happen for my homeless friends (some now formerly homeless), and I’m praying for one for you. I pray that God will hook you up with the people and the resources you need to get a place of your own and to be able to sustain that. Thanks for your supportive comment for me, too.

  10. April December 20, 2009 12:57 pm

    I would love to take you into my home and help you and your baby out anyway I can.If you are interested please contact me and we will figure out a way to make it happen. I can also try to help get you to my home if need to.Contact me @ sky2413@aol.com

  11. Alex January 12, 2010 10:55 am

    Just to let everyone know these two ended up getting housing from state and were able to apply for food stamps And are putting In applications to find a job. Deffinitly made me feel better

  12. April January 27, 2010 9:35 pm

    I’m glad to hear they were able to get help. We need to get rid of the illegal alien’s in this country who are taking the jobs and assistance we need for our own citizens.
    We also need a transition program for folks who have been in legal trouble and are trying to make a better life.

  13. May March 28, 2010 3:01 pm

    If your her friend why didnt you help her?

  14. Cara Michele March 28, 2010 3:05 pm

    May: I have a couple of hundred homeless friends. I’m part of a street outreach team, and we help everyone we can, as much as we possibly can. We distribute food, clothing, boots, tents, sleeping bags, toiletries — all kinds of things that our friends need and ask us for. We help them get medical care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and housing. We hang out, spend time, listen, talk, laugh, cry — friend things. If you mean, why didn’t I take her home with me? Because of health and financial issues, my kids and I live with my family. Taking homeless friends home with me is not an option. I do the best I can to help others, knowing that I can’t do everything myself, and I’m OK with that. So are my friends. I trust God, and I know I’m not the only one He uses to help. If we all did something, it would be enough. But too many people do nothing.

  15. Maria September 22, 2010 11:23 am

    Dear Cara. What is the name of your organisation/outreach program? I would love to help. I can post baby clothes and any other items you may need for your friends. I have a 9 month old daughter who is outgrowing her clothes pretty quickly, so I have some to spare. Contact me if there is anything I can do to help.
    God Bless.

  16. Maria September 22, 2010 11:33 am

    April, do not aim your hate at immigrants. The state of this country is the result of funds used to feed an ongoing war and to make those in power richer, while the poor get even poorer. “Illegal aliens” actually go out and do the jobs that you along with other million people wouldn’t even dream of doing and for a whole lot less than what you would expect to be paid. At the end of the day we are ALL immigrants! United States is made up of English, Dutch, Irish, German descendants… the real Americans are those who were killed and vanished from their own land and confined to live as ghosts. So do some research and actually THINK before you make ignorant comments.

  17. bowlan September 25, 2010 10:18 pm

    its a shame the way this country is going.

    ever since bill Clinton signed in the china free trade agreement on his last days in office millions of u.s.jobs have gone.

    manufacturing jobs completely gone and millions now homeless.

    our own government can send billions to other countries but doesn’t seem to bother with the people in our own country.

    we should teach these lost souls how to grow their own gardens and train them in survival.

    like the old saying goes you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or you can teach him to fish and feed him for a live time.

    most of the homeless are people who lost jobs and don’t have the training to survive on their own.

    train them in survival and growing food.

  18. Kristen F November 21, 2010 6:58 pm

    I’m homeless and 13 weeks pregnant and the housing placement here only has preferences to battered women and elderly. The homeless youth program has a 6 month and the womens homeless shelter is full and the quickest waiting list spot open is in 3 months. It is a shame where this country is going. Just a year ago when I was flying the sign for money I would make maybe $30 dollars in 6 hours. Now I’m lucky if I get a few sandwiches to eat. I appreciate the food, though. I am a lot hungrier now that I’m preggo. I’m sleeping in an abandon dog shed.

  19. Sarah g. June 11, 2012 9:39 pm

    Well, it seems there are a lot of pregnant and homeless women in the world… I myself am homeless with my boyfriend. I’m 9 weeks pregnant and have applied for housing, but it’s been months already and we’ve received no good news. We both walk around town all day every day trying to find a job, but it never looks good if you don’t have an address or a phone number to put down on your applications/resumes. It’s a tough world, and if I don’t have a place to bring my baby home to by the time I’m 6 months, I fear our only option is an open adoption.

  20. Ashley Nichole October 24, 2012 2:53 pm

    13 weeks pregnant, and homeless as well. I’m only 20 and am miserable and so depressed because I’m really afraid my baby will have nothing when he/she is born. I just want the best for my baby and for it to be happy, healthy, and to have a home. If anyone can help please contact me at bolen876@gmail.com someone please help me .

  21. Michele (CM) October 24, 2012 5:11 pm

    Emailing you, Ashley.

  22. harley November 28, 2012 1:40 am

    I am 27 weeks pregnant and sadly homeless. I hold a full time and part time job. I cant afford housing and have been turned away from every shelter in my area because i was pregnant and working i cant meet the 5 pm deadline to arrive. Im in dallas texas if abyone knows.of a place or anythingit would be of great help

  23. italian gone wrong June 5, 2013 5:21 am

    why dont you help your friends? by providing they a safe place to stay, at least until she or her husband get the job…

  24. Norma Stecher June 13, 2013 8:14 pm

    Hello,
    If you are homeless, and an expectant mom, you may reach me by facebook or at normastecher@yahoo.com I live in Maine with my own family, and we open our home to those in need.

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