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How Do People You Would Never Believe Are Homeless Become Homeless?

Cascading events - true story from someone I know. They have jobs that pay well. About the average. Here’s what happened.


    1. They lived in a downstairs apartment.

    Well within their budget, close to their jobs.

    2. Upstairs apartment had a slow water leak inside the wall.

    The slow leak eventually collected a large amount of water that started leaking into their downstairs apartment through the ceiling light fixture. Once they noticed it they reported the leak to their landlord.

    3. The landlord ordered the repairs, but before the repair people arrived, the ceiling collapsed into the downstairs apartment.

    All their furniture was ruined by wet plaster, etc. falling on their belongings. They were forced to relocate because they were told repairs couldn’t be made with them in their apartment. They had to move all their small personal belongings/clothes with them into a motel room. Neither their renter’s insurance or the landlord’s insurance would cover their move. They couldn’t find another place to rent.

    4. After multiple calls to landlord, insurance companies, etc.

    They were left without any financial reimbursement. The landlord still expected them to pay their rent which they couldn’t do since they had to spend more money to stay in a motel room without reimbursement from their tenant’s policy.

    5. While they were staying in the motel, their car was stolen.

    More cascading events. The car was eventually found 30 miles away (probably stolen by joyriding kids.)

    6. They had to rent a car to get to work. It’s more per WEEK than their monthly car payment.

    Another unexpected expense while waiting on recovery check from their car insurer. They began looking at new cars, but prices & financing now seem out of reach.

    7. Their car that was recovered was towed (damaged) but is 30 miles away & they want $1700 for its recovery.

    They plan on leaving this for the insurance company to settle. But waiting on a check from their insurance company is financially painful. They SHOULD be paying for their rental vehicle.

    8. Between the motel room & the rental car, they were now spending substantially more money than they were on their apartment & vehicle.

    This is what happens to regular working people who are one paycheck away from disaster.

    9. The insurance claim process for their vehicle being stolen is taking longer than it should because of understaffing in the claims department.

    This is likely because of the way insurance companies are staffed, as well as the high amount of claims right now.

    10. They are now having to use shared rides to get to work after not being reimbursed for their rental car - they had to turn it in after a week - it was not affordable. The places they work do not have public transportation nearby.

    This is yet again an additional cascading expense, while all the standard recommended financial moves to prevent these types of cascading problems DIDN’T PROTECT THEM from financial devastation. This seems to me to be an area dominated by the financial advice gurus who really don’t understand now how much things have changed. The terms & conditions of all of the companies these people were doing business with have changed drastically. Therefore, their advice is NOT relevant NOW. People are becoming trapped in these “shoulds” hawked as the best ways to handle your finances.

    11. They feel like they will not be able to get back on their feet now. Their small financial cushion is now gone.

    Clearly there is a huge problem for many people who find themselves affected by events they didn’t cause themselves. They reacted in responsible ways.

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