Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I have been homeless for three years, ever since I lost my lifelong home to a reverse mortgage on the coldest day of the year. We have been homeless with little money and are very poor, bouncing around from place to place with no security or stability.
For the past six months, we have been living in a metal storage shed that we own and that is situated in my cousin’s yard. We chose this because we have no place else to go. The big house is up for sale and is condemned as well and has no running water.
Living this way is illegal, demoralizing and dehumanizing, but, again, we have no choice right now.
We have gone everywhere for help, and no one has helped us. We have tried everything. We now have to get out as soon as possible, but we have nowhere to go. We don’t know what we are going to do, but winter is coming. We are in the middle of a housing crisis, and it has been hell.
The housing agencies that are supposed to help are nothing but a joke. They have done nothing for me in more than seven years — I did try to save my home because I knew I could end up homeless — but no one helped me then either.
We worked our tails off and saved money this summer, as much as we could, but there is nothing to rent around here, and this is where our work is, and we don’t have a vehicle, so we bike and walk everywhere.
We need help desperately before we’re evicted into the street.
Dear Homeless: You have to go back to those housing agencies and other government bureaus that are set up to house the homeless. I feel for you and your boyfriend, but something just isn’t adding up. Federal, state and city laws to help house the homeless don’t appear to be working in your case. If that doesn’t work, perhaps you could seek legal help.
As for the reverse mortgage, I’m not sure how you lost your house. If you signed a reverse mortgage and the company failed to make payments on the house, you need to consult legal aid to reclaim your house.
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Dear Annie: I lost my husband and soul mate very suddenly four years ago. To say I was inconsolable is an understatement, so I really do know how “Grieving Wife” feels.
A dear friend recommended a book to me, and I found it very helpful, so I want to pass it on to “Grieving Wife.” It is called How To Survive The Loss of a Love by Peter McWilliams, Harold H. Bloomfield and Melba Colgrove.
It is a very easy book to read, and it is unlike any other book I have seen on the subject. I think “Grieving Wife” could greatly benefit from this book.
— Sympathetic Reader
Dear Sympathetic Reader: I am so sorry for your loss, which is truly heartbreaking. Thank you for using your pain to share with others tools that have helped you — in your case, a superb book recommendation.
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Dear Annie: One year ago, I lost my husband, my prince, and I still feel aching grief at times.
Shortly after his passing, I began to write in a journal, and it has helped tremendously. Through my writing, I can talk to him and say everything I’m feeling. I share with him my life as it is now.
I have reread it several times, from beginning to the present, and I can see there is light at the end of the tunnel. My favorite picture of him is my bookmark.
I want to say, remember, dear one, your grief means you have loved.
— It’s a Sisterhood
Dear Sisterhood: I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips to help cope with the loss of a loved one.
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— A native Californian, Annie Lane writes her Dear Annie advice columns from her home outside New York City, where she lives with her husband, two kids and two dogs. Her latest anthology, How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?, features favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation, and is available as a paperback and e-book. Email your Dear Annie questions to email@example.com. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.