I Think I Need to Move Into a Shelter With My Son to Get on My Feet, Any Advice?

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"I left my son’s father a few months ago and have been having my Ups & downs… I finally got a spot, gave them my savings, and moved my stuff in… only to find out it was a scam. My son's father took him back while I tried to figure out something. I was staying at air bnbs in the meantime. My son's father called me suicidal, sending me photos of guns and talking about killing himself… so I picked him up two nights ago… my air bnb told me he had to be gone today bc he’s so active and loud. This is the second spot we’ve been made to leave (when I first left his father I took him) bc he’s super active…. I have really bad anxiety and every time I think of being in a shelter with my son during a pandemic I really start to panic but I know that’s my only option. His father won’t take him unless I sign over my rights…. I guess I’m looking for some direction. Does anyone have experience with the shelter? I called 211 several months ago when I first left and they basically said the shelters Up here were full…and I’d have to take him to south jersey in the middle of nowhere. I already lost my telemarketing job bc I can’t quietly answer phones with a yelling 2-year-old, or while outside… and I can’t ever get an overnight sitter, so I can’t bartend this week…. I’m so desperate and just defeated. I’m currently trying to get the money to get a storage unit bc I have a bunch of bags… but honestly, I’m about to just have everything that my son doesn’t need bc I’m just over everything"

RELATED: Homeless Mother Reunited With Six Kids In New Apartment: ‘I Have All My Babies, They’re Happy, They’re Content’


The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"I don’t know what it’s like from an adults perspective but I lived in a shelter as a kid. They had a family center and had a lot of things for the kids such as child care, after school programs, and just family events. I can’t really remember little ones your sons age but I’m sure they have something to help out with. I remember them helping with bus tokens for the parents so they can get to work or look for jobs. I’m sorry you are going through this and I hope you can find the help and resources you need for you and your son. I’ll say a prayer for you and just keep pushing and don’t give up"

"You mentioned NJ. I personally have never been through this but I had a close friend (a little different of a situation but also had no where to go). She went to the welfare office and because she had a kid they put her in a hotel for a few months. That was Camden county NJ, so I’m not sure if it’s the same everywhere. But maybe that’s worth a try. You’re in my prayers"

"I have, with my two younger kids and pregnant with #4 some shelters are good about protecting the women and children. The one I got into was a blessing in disguise now in my own place waiting for my daughter to be born."

"You are in NJ- Family promise of ocean county could help. There are a couple of steps you have to go through, but they should be able to get you set up with some kind of housing. I have a friend who works closely with them. 609-994-3317 is the number. Best of luck to you."

"Contact a local church, they will help more than you think."

"Women’s shelters are so much more comfortable than regular shelters. Don’t be afraid to go to one. U will get lots of help and advice there."

"I was homeless 2 years ago. I applied for section 8, which I knew would be a while. A friend told me that when she was a social worker, she found that people who actually go to hud or sec8/low-income apartment buildings in person and fill out applications get in much faster. I tried it after sitting on the sec8 list for 9 months, and they called me 3 weeks later. They use a point system. Being homeless, what I would consider a domestic abuse situation, and having a child should all give you points enough to get you on the top of the list. Give it a shot, you never know!"

"I’ve had to stay at a shelter with my kids and it wasn’t too bad. There were other moms in the same situation so I didn’t feel so alone."

"Try your local food stamps office. They typically have cash assistance you can get and may have other resources for emergency housing. My therapist is a great resource for me. When I was considering moving w my children on my own she had housing options that were specifically for single mothers and children."

"Yes it’s not that bad an they have a lot of resources to help you get on you feet. An they understand kids I had six small children at the time I left my husband it seems like a lot at first but it does get easier. Some will even pick you and your things up if needed. I didn’t want to at first but glad I did. Prayers for you an your little one."

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