As single dads, we all feel defeated at times. That’s normal.
Maybe we’re not getting to see our child enough. Maybe we’re having financial trouble. Maybe we’re feeling a general sense of hopelessness.
For some single dads, though, the problems are intense, the struggles overwhelming. Recently, I heard from a dad who falls into this category. Joe, we’ll call him, is homeless yet he manages to hold down a job.
“I am 42 years old, divorced twice,” he wrote. “I sleep in my car, parking in a Walmart, and shower at a gym. I hide the fact that I am homeless very well. I hide most of my belongings in my trunk and don’t tell anyone about my personal life or whereabouts. No one at works suspects I live out of my car.”
Joe said he has a 19-year-old daughter from his first marriage and a 7-year-old daughter from his second marriage, which ended in 2010.
“When I have my daughter, I save enough to stay in a motel room or spend the night at a friend’s house.”
A reality check
As I read Joe’s email, I thought I have no problems at all. I mean, my issues pale in comparison to his — they’re not even worth discussing.
We all need a reality check at times. Joe’s email gave me a reality check. Some dads, such as Joe, are really struggling. Yet he maintains a generally positive attitude.
“I am not trying to sound as if I’m feeling sorry for myself, as I know there are many fathers out there in the same or even worse situations than mine,” Joe wrote. “I do not understand how society complains about children being raised without fathers in their lives, yet it’s our own government that sets up the way we are allowed to only see our children on a limited basis and then so much money is taken from us in child support that makes it impossible for us to have a life of our own or even provide anything for our kids.”
Joe asked if I could recommend any organizations that offer financial, housing or legal assistance to single dads. I did a quick Google search, and plenty of links popped up. I can’t vouch for any, but one called lowincomefinancialhelp.com looked interesting.
It talked about federal housing, unemployment, child care, nutrition and transportation programs. It provided a number of helpful links.
Wishing you the best
Joe, maybe this site is a place to start. If any readers have other recommendations, please write me and I’ll pass them along.
I hope Joe gets the help he needs. And I hope the rest of us realize that some dads face far more obstacles than we do.
“God bless,” Joe said at the end of his email.
God bless you, too.