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Hands To Help The Homeless



The reason I have started the Champaign to help the homeless is because I was homeless myself. And saw how these groups that are to help the homeless do not. How they take your money to pay there staff and other bills. And when the money trickles down the homeless get nothing.
I have seen three homeless deaths's in the past 5 years. One of my homeless friends was found frozen behind a KFC Dumpster. He crawled between the Dumpster and the concrete wall to stay warm. It was 20 below Zero that night. He went back there knowing that hot grease was being dumped. And the heat from the grease would make him warm. But the grease cooled too quickly. They had to scrape his frozen body from the frozen concrete.
The other death was in the heat of summer. The man was quite old. And became homeless after the death of his wife. He had a bag that carried his body waste. He use to tell me that he could not wait for death, so that he would not be homeless any more. They found him dead on the steps of a church. He is no longer homeless.
The other man was one of my best friends. He use to sleep on a pad close to me also. He was a heavy drinker. Because at the bar he could get the warmth he needed. And he would get so drunk that anything else did not matter. He stole to eat at times. And got caught for it. But that would give him a place to stay for a night or two. He would go to sleep in a home made tent. That he hid near the Rail Road tracks. Well he never made it home one night. He got ran over by a train. So I ask when will people help, stop the madness.


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Homeless here are being band from places that have been used as camps in the past. Granted, there are health concerns, but they are not being given any viable options.The shelters are maxed out. There used to be a car camp every winter that actually had staff from local services on-site and a liaison officer from the police department. Bathrooms and shower facilities were provided. Not anymore. Every night large buildings all over town that have bathroom and kitchen facilities are empty ... the streets aren't.
My name is Janice,
I am a 41 yr old mother of 4 children, ages 17,15,10.
I drive a charter bus full-time and live alone with my 3 older kids. My son is in foster care in custody of the Child protection services of Texas.
You probably wonder why my son is in foster care, and maybe its because Im a bad mother, or maybe I beat him. Well Im a good mother and I didn't beat him or abuse him in any way. It all started because the school he was attending called CPS because I was living in car with him and my now 10 yr old daughter.
In Novemeber of '98 we were forced to move out of moblie home that I was renting because they said my son caused trouble. The truth was they only wanted home owners in park. I had just moved in July and was not prepared to move again. My mother lives in same area but did not want me to move in with her because of the children being so hyper and her nervous condition. So I moved into a motel which I could pay on a monthly basis. Soon work got very slow I was only working weekends and not even every weekend. When the month that I had paid for elapsed I had to pay by the day. Then when I had to work I had to cancel because babysitter woudnt sit unless paid in advance. On New years eve I had to move out of motel because I could no longer pay the motel bill.
Meanwhile, I met some men who lived there in motel too. One who I had found out that he was a drug addict who was being supported by his parents. I found myself giving him rides to go buy just to get money to by food for my kids. Then he introduced me to this other man who lived there in motel. This man I didnt know was a drug user also at the time. He had a job and told me he was looking for good woman. He then told me that he was going to help me get out of motel because motel wasnt place for kids to live. While he was still working I let him move in with me . When I found out he was on drugs I asked him about it he says " its only recreational" what a lie. I feel so gulible but at the time I had never dealt with anyone that used drugs much less used any myself. Anyway when I moved into my van with my kids he came along too. Somehow I felt safer with him on board than with us 3 alone.
First night we drove around til we found some place to park. We parked at a truck stop in La Porte Tx. After that we parked in a church parking lot to sleep at night. Sometimes when we had enough money we would get motel room. Our days consisted of taking kids to school and then go to different stores where Lee would go and steal things and return them to store to get money. Then he would have me drive him to go get drugs with money. Before I knew it, it was one big nightmare. He had turned into an animal and if I disagreed with him he would get angry and threaten to punch me. He would push me around or grab me by my hair. I felt so hopeless and after awhile I was just waiting to die. I felt like such a failure. I would beg my kids father to take in my kids for me until I could get on my feet and he wouldnt. The only thing he would do is give me money if I had sex with him. Up to now they were not taking out child support from his check yet. The father of my two older kids wasnt sending child support either at the time. Anyway this went on for about month and a half. One night Lee hit me and a passer by in car saw him and called the police. The police came and hauled him away. I then tried to get into an shelter. I went thru the process and had gotten into one. But my sons behavior had the people there all nevous so I left. My husband gave me money to stay in motel that night. When my mother heard of Lee being put in jail she invite us over to stay with her and my sister, her daughter and my two older children. After while me and my sister started to butt heads being that she felt it was her house and she had to be one to rule roost. Both my mother and sister wanted to control my going in and out of house and pressure just was too much so I moved back out. Afraid of retaliation from Lee when he got out of jail I went and picked him up when he got out. Nightmare continued.
On february 18,1999 I had kept my daughter from school because she had been sick with cough. When we went to pick up my son they wouldnt let me pick him up, they had called CPS. The police were there waiting on us. When CPS worker came I tried telling him that I was just waiting to get my income tax refund which was due anyday. I was getting almost $4000 in refund and would use that to get us a place to live. But they took both my son and my daughter. Before I had thought I was already at the bottom but that day I found a new low in my life. After that I didnt care whether I lived or died, preferably dead was my feelings. The next day I recieved my income tax refund. Which in turn Lee took it away from me and by the next day he was gone. He had met another women who is an addict and had a stolen truck to go with. I then moved back with my mother and sister again. I waited to see what I had to do to get my kids back. I did everything they asked me to including getting permission to work at place I was going to work. Four months after I started working again I had my own place. My kids were given temporarily to my sister to care for until hearing.
But by October she gave up on them and sent them back to CPS. They were placed in an emergency shelter. I got to pick them up on weekends and spend time with them. They were then placed in foster home until Jan 2000 when they were returned to me. I moved to an apartment right under the babysitter I was going to use. When my son was returned to me they had him on medication adoril and clonidine, they gave me two weeks if that of medication. The docter who prescribed medication wouldnt refill it. I had hard time finding appointment for my son to get his prescriptions refilled, everyone had waiting list and was given appointments from one and half months to two months from that time. Meanwhile he is in school without meds and acting up. ( keep in mind this is school who reported me to CPS because they didnt want him in thier school) The school starts making anonymous phone calls to CPS making false reports which CPS ruled out. The Atlitem and the child advocate come to me and offer to take my son back into care until he is stablized then they would give him back. By the time I get to court for perminatcy hearing the CPS worker and child advocate have made a 180 degree turn against me and start lying to judge saying that because of my job I am not home enough and that I called them to come pick up my son, a flat out lie. So the judge gives custody of my daughter to my sister and of my son to Cps not terminating my rights but making me possesionary custodian. All along I had been told that they were going to turn them back over to me. I used my money to set up household and get my ducks in a row instead of hiring lawyer because they told me that I didnt need one. Here it is two years afterwards and my son has been drugged up to point of hallucinations scratched by foster mother and my visitations are so hard to get that it has made my son so angry and they think by drugging him up more that will cure everything.............All he needs is his mommy.
I have tried writing letters to no avail. The senator says they cant investigate because CPS sited privacy act. The Regulatory commison that overlooks CPS dont regualte they just go along with whatever the cps worker says as it was the gospel truth. I am in process of waiting on my income tax refund to hire a lawyer to see what options I have. I am still employed with same employer in april it will be two years. Last year I made 30,000 which I think is good. I am able to provide for my kids finacialy and emotionaly. Im not on food stamps or anything like that. I have a new car and carry a cell phone and I have this computer and pay for my isp. Even when I was with my husband we didnt have it this good. We are just waiting for my son to be able to come home where he belongs. We all live here together never forgetting about my son my kids brother. But sometimes it feels like we are trying to fight an elephant with a toothpick. Well this is my story Please let me know what you think ok? Love, Janice
Rich and Joyce, Local situation with homeless is getting worse. Community resources are over loaded. HUGE churches are empty most of the time, but won't open facilities to the homeless because of insurance, lack of volunteers, expense, liability, etc. There are many large commercial and even government owned buildings that are empty, too. I have mixed feeling about Bush's proposal. Am worried about the government attaining "control" over churches...and also what the legal definition of "church" will be. Will keep u updated. Cheri
Hello: my name is Sheryl
and I have been homless and I guess you might say that I still am..I am a mother of 2 boys ages 3 and 20 months and we live in a motel here in leesburg florida.. We havent had an actual home in almost a year... My life has been really tough and i have been homeless several different times.. Since I have been on my own i have had 3 places of my own that I could call home and I didn't get to keep them very long.. I have been on my own since I was 18 and I am now 27 and things are still very tough.. Ihave been on welfare and I have lived with people whom I thought were my friends and found out later that they were not... I left New York when I was 19 years old and my parents sent me to a place called Greenville South Carolina and I had a place of my own there and then I met a guy and we lived together for a long while and when we got into fights i would have to pack my things and my sons things and go stay at different shelters and then he would miss me and want me to come back..I went through that for about 21/2 years and then I said enugh was enough and i moved to Pensacola Florida where my second child was born..My father lived there and I thought that he would help us out and he did for a while..I had a place of my own there and a job of my own to but when I moved into my own place I lost my job because I didn't have a car to get to work with and I knew no one to help me get to work and from there I moved into another shelter...They helped me get into another trailer and because I didnt have a job or anything people thought I was not capable of taking care of two kids so when my second child was born the social services people took my I then went to another shelter and there I met a fellow who made alot of false promises and I got into alot trouble..I moved back to New York and met a fellow whom I married and we had a son together..We lived with his mother on and off for we could not keep an apartment for he wouldnt work and when I did he caused me to lose my jobs...So there fore we lived with his mother for about 1 1/2 years and then we moved away from his mother and we were able to keep a home..We had family whom helped us when they were not to busy and we made it for a while..I left my husband for alot of different reasons and i got involved with his brother and i have never been happier.. I now have just my two boys and we all live in Florida and we live in a motel..My boyfriend and i have been together for almost two years and we have a son together.. My boyfriend works for the motel that we live at.. I hate living here for there isnt enough room for my kids to play and we all sleep in the same room and it is terrible... I have no kitchen and no privacy and all that good stuff.. We want a place of oour own but really cant afford anything for none of the land lords will work with us as far as the deposit goes.. This is a home for now and I dont have any bills to pay except for our rent...I am hopeful that we will have a place of our own by the end of the year... Things are alawys rough when you are starting out and people have bad patches in their lives but you have to keep a posotive attitude and remember that things will get better if you want them to... We are always open to help and ideas feel free to email me at or at Your life is what you make it... Be happy and have faith and all things will come to you in good time.. written by sheryl

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