I am looking for Atheists like me who can help with crisis issues.  My husband and I were middle class people who owned our own home and business, actually two businesses.  We raised 4 kids, two birth and two adopted.  College educated them all.  Then in 2008 the phones stopped ringing and we lost both businesses.  Then we lost our life savings and retirement trying to save our home.  Lost the home in 2011.  Used the last of our savings to relocate to Sacramento CA to be closer to our youngest daughter, who will be having her first baby this month.  This week we got a shut off notice for PG&E and today we got our eviction notice.  I am disabled, with no income because I've been turned down for disability.  Until we can afford to visit the Dr. & fight for disability we are stuck.  My husband has been putting in applications 5 or more a day for 2 years.  He has not been offered anything yet.  He fixes computers. We were to proud to ask for help because we were always the ones that helped others.  Finally last month we applied for food stamps and got them.  Because we are not yet over 65 or have a child living in our home, we are not eligible for cash or medical benefits. This is all so embarrassing that we haven't told our kids who are making it, all have jobs and families of their own.  They just don't have extra.  We've already borrowed from them and know they can't afford to help.  Our son is in the Army.    We don't want a hand out, we want a hand up.  We will pay it forward if we can ever get our lives back.  At this point without someone who can really help we will be homeless with 8 pets.  One old dog that can barely walk two old cats and 5 rescue ferrets.  They are our family now.  How can we let them down when we promised them a good life?  Just wondering if there is a place for Atheists who have no church?  I've always been so strong and not a cryer, but today I'm not strong and can't stop crying.  I'm feeling like this is the end of my life and I'm actually scared to death!  Thanks for listening.  Lorrie

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Hello Lorrie,

Sounds like you are in a very tough spot.  We had a similar thing happen to us financially and are still trying to get our re-start going.  I think the best bet for you is going to be getting help from one of your kids.  Your pride is going to take the biggest hit, but your kids, even if they are just making it by will be happy that they can re-pay you for your taking care of them while growing up. 

Just consider your current situation like a huge re-set that has placed you right back where you were when you finished high school or college.  You need to sell off everything you can that you absolutely do not need.  Find good loving homes for the animals that you have but can no longer care for the way you want or need to.  There are many other people that will take care of rescue ferrets and give comfortable homes to aged pets.  Is it heartbreaking, absolutely!  But is it necessary?  According to your description yes.  Pets are an unnecessary financial strain and deserve to be pampered without the fear of starving yourself.

As for job situations, the hit to humility takes further tolls there as well.  Just think back to high school and college and take whatever job is available.  Your husband can keep applying for computer jobs, but unless he moves to India he will have a tough time finding one.  If by your description you are not yet to retirement age, I will bet you are close enough that age discrimination is definitely taking place when people look at his applications.  It will sounds horrible to you, but he should look at what jobs there actually are instead of what he is trained for and likes.  Walmart, McDonalds and any number of what we consider to be kids jobs or first start jobs are out there.  Will they make us feel accomplished working there, No.  Will it put a paycheck in your hands, yes.

Think of it as a start up again with you re-starting your lives.  He could get a simple job at some start up place like office max or somethig and with his skill set perhaps move up very quickly with promotions into a higher position that heads you and your family back in the right direction.

So as terrifying and even humiliating as it may sound, I would recommend selling most of your belongings, finding loving homes for your pets, moving back in with one of your children, and getting some type of simple start-up job that will allow your husband to re-enter the workforce and move up from there. 

The financial world here in the U.S. will not return to what it was for at least another decade if it returns at all.  California is financially ruined and the cities there are starting to declare bankruptcy like Stockton.  Please don't cling to the belief that things will just go back to the way they were, they never do. 

One other suggestion would be to move to another state with a much lower cost of living which could help you get yourselves back on track, but the same things would need to be done without the assistance of your family.

I know the whole thing sounds probably terrifying to be re-starting your financial life when you are the ages you are and I'm sure expected years ago that you would be retired by now.  But be thankful for one thing, you were able to raise your children before your financial world started falling apart and you have your skills and intelligence to assist you in work. 

Our children are still very young and are going through this struggle with us.  A minimalist life isn't so bad when you realize all the excessive junk we hold on to is largley unneccesary.

Robert

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