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Fether

Bishop rent assistance

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My sister-in-law is getting out of a bad marriage right now. She has 4 kids from a previous marriage, just moved to a new city, and there is no subsidized housing anywhere currently. She asked me today about whether Bishops would help with rent. I said I would ask around.

Anyone ever have experience with this?

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In my experience (working in the RS pres), bishops can and do help with rent. However, what I'm familiar with is he'll often work to help with food/utilities so any income can be used for housing. I would encourage her to talk to the bishop, be honest with him about everything, and allow him to arrange help.

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1 hour ago, beefche said:

In my experience (working in the RS pres), bishops can and do help with rent. However, what I'm familiar with is he'll often work to help with food/utilities so any income can be used for housing. I would encourage her to talk to the bishop, be honest with him about everything, and allow him to arrange help.

 

1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

Yup.  We work with a lot of indigent families whose kids end up in DCFS custody, and LDS bishops routinely offer rent assistance.  Just be aware that they’ll want there to be some kind of exit strategy.

This is all what I told her. Good to know she will have help.

One thing that makes this difficult is that she doesn’t have a ward yet since she has no home. No Bishop to reach out to just yet

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23 hours ago, Fether said:

One thing that makes this difficult is that she doesn’t have a ward yet since she has no home. No Bishop to reach out to just yet

Each stake has (should have) a Transient Bishop, designed to assist members in your sister's situation. 
She should contact any Bishop in her area and ask for the transient Bishop's contact info and start there. 

Edited by NeedleinA

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16 hours ago, Fether said:

My sister-in-law is getting out of a bad marriage right now. She has 4 kids from a previous marriage, just moved to a new city, and there is no subsidized housing anywhere currently. She asked me today about whether Bishops would help with rent. I said I would ask around.

Anyone ever have experience with this?

Random thoughts:

Church assistance is targeted towards ward members, so yes, it will be handled by her bishop.   And you can expect that new bishop to contact her old bishop to get background on the situation.  

The program is to help people in need, and transient/homeless folks going through rocky divorces absolutely fit that bill.

The backbone principle of church assistance "temporary help as someone moves to self-sufficiency".   Basically, it's a wonderful thing for temporary hard times, and it is not there as a permanent solution.  

We don't give money.  We pay bills.  She should show up with a copy of her lease agreement, utility bills, and the like.  The church writes checks to landlords and utility companies, not to members to pay bills.

The church emphasizes self-reliance.  The order is look to yourself first, your family second, your extended family third, and the church fourth.  In urgent emergency situations, church aid absolutely will step up.  Part of working with the bishop will include planning your way out of needing church aid.

Finally, SIL getting out of a bad marriage?  I may be able to relate to your situation.  My wife's brother divorced someone, and we are closer to the ex-spouse and her kids than the brother.  Depending on your situation and details, there may be nothing wrong at all with keeping ties with SIL.  Good luck sifting through all that - it's often "fun".

Edited by NeuroTypical

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2 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Finally, SIL getting out of a bad marriage?  I may be able to relate to your situation.  My wife's brother divorced someone, and we are closer to the ex-spouse and her kids than the brother.  Depending on your situation and details, there may be nothing wrong at all with keeping ties with SIL.  Good luck sifting through all that - it's often "fun".

My SIL is in the family. She is my wife’s sister 👍

 

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4 minutes ago, Fether said:

My SIL is in the family. She is my wife’s sister 👍

Well, either way, if you need to organize a lynch mob for the soon-to-be-ex, just contact your EQP. (This part isn't in the handbook, but I'm sure somebody has a story.)  😁

Edited by NeuroTypical

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12 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Well, either way, if you need to organize a lynch mob for the soon-to-be-ex, just contact your EQP. (This part isn't in the handbook, but I'm sure somebody has a story.)  😁

I’d love to, but It would be immoral to form a lynch mob against a (man) child.

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21 hours ago, NeedleinA said:

Each stake has a Transient Bishop, designed to assist members in your sister's situation. 
She should contact any Bishop in her area and ask for the transient Bishop's contact info and start there. 

I've never heard of a Transient Bishop.   We do help members with rent and other things when needed.

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28 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I've never heard of a Transient Bishop.   We do help members with rent and other things when needed.

In addition to being a Bishop, some Bishops have one other assignment stacked on top of that, kind of like a (Bishop +1).
Transient Bishop is one. Agent Bishop is another.
Church handbook 22.5.1.3 👍

Quote

Based on need, a stake president may appoint one bishop to handle all requests arising in the stake from people who are transient or homeless. In some areas there is a concentration of stakes with large numbers of people who are transient or homeless. In those situations, the Area Presidency may call a service missionary to handle their requests for assistance. This person should have served as a bishop.

 

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40 minutes ago, NeedleinA said:

In addition to being a Bishop, some Bishops have one other assignment stacked on top of that, kind of like a (Bishop +1).
Transient Bishop is one. Agent Bishop is another.
Church handbook 22.5.1.3 👍

 

All bishops do the work of the Lord of course, but bishops like the ones you described are spectacular. To minister to the homeless is the epitome of the love of Christ. 

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14 hours ago, LDSGator said:

To minister to the homeless is the epitome of the love of Christ. 

It also involves more than a tad of Matthew 10:16.  There's a difference in helping someone in need, and getting worked by a confidence gamer.  Absolutely you can find conmen in homes too, but you encounter a far higher percentage of them in homeless communities.  One important reason for a transient bishop, is so professional conmen (or confamilies) have a harder time working an area by moving from ward to ward.

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3 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

It also involves more than a tad of Matthew 10:16.  There's a difference in helping someone in need, and getting worked by a confidence gamer.  Absolutely you can find conmen in homes too, but you encounter a far higher percentage of them in homeless communities.  One important reason for a transient bishop, is so professional conmen (or confamilies) have a harder time working an area by moving from ward to ward.

Understand and agree. All of us know the difference. 
 

If you look at big cities, most actual residents don’t give money to homeless people for several reasons. They don’t want to enable drug addiction, they see the homeless all the time, they are jaded, etc. 

My fear is that the truly needy get lumped in with the fraudsters too much though. 

Edited by LDSGator

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2 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

My fear is that the truly needy get lumped in with the fraudsters too much though. 

Holy cow can that be hard to discern.  Addictions and mental illnesses are endemic in the homeless population.   What's the difference between a mentally ill person who can't hold down a job and pay rent, and a mentally ill person who won't hold down a job or pay rent?   The mentally ill person might not know themselves.

We talk about grey areas - but this is more like a page where maybe the top fifth is solid white (holding folks like Fether's SIL), a large grey area flowing to solid black at the bottom. 

Tell you what - you invent a box with a green light for "truly needy" and a red light for "fraudster", and I'll be your first investor.

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30 minutes ago, LDSGator said:

My fear is that the truly needy get lumped in with the fraudsters too much though. 

That’s why there are a lot of organizations one can donate to where the money is being handed out to everyone.

I’ve also heard the adage that whether we give or not is our test. What they do with it is theirs. I like the principle, but I’m too worried about efficiency and the proper use of funds to buy into it completely

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Just now, Fether said:

That’s why there are a lot of organizations one can donate to where the money is being handed out to everyone.

I’ve also heard the adage that whether we give or not is our test. What they do with it is theirs. I like the principle, but I’m too worried about efficiency and the proper use of funds to buy into it completely

Oh, absolutely. Understand fully. One can, very easily, make the argument that giving money to homeless people on the street is a terrible idea, simply because you are enabling addiction. 
 
Like you, I strongly advise someone to donate to an actual shelter or food bank instead. Also like everyone else though, I’ve given a few bucks to a homeless guy after leaving the store as well. 

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Just to reiterate what Neuro said - 

You first look to yourself and family before going to the Church for help. I've also heard that people are encouraged to avail themselves of govt assistance as well (this didn't used to be the case). Anyway, too few understand how Church Welfare is really supposed to work. Oh, she should also not be surprised to be asked what she can do in return (ie clean the church building, etc).

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9 hours ago, Manners Matter said:

Just to reiterate what Neuro said - 

You first look to yourself and family before going to the Church for help. I've also heard that people are encouraged to avail themselves of govt assistance as well (this didn't used to be the case). Anyway, too few understand how Church Welfare is really supposed to work. Oh, she should also not be surprised to be asked what she can do in return (ie clean the church building, etc).

Ya, she and her 4 boys have been living with her parents in their 3 bed mobile home for the past year prior to marrying this guy. They are going to help her get in to a place, but won’t be able to sustain the monthly payments. We aren’t in a place right now to help either. She is already on as many government help stuff as she can find.

thanks!

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On 7/2/2021 at 8:42 AM, Fether said:

 

I’ve also heard the adage that whether we give or not is our test. What they do with it is theirs. I like the principle, but I’m too worried about efficiency and the proper use of funds to buy into it completely

I too like the principle, but in practice I worry about contributing to further harm. I've seen enough creation of problems.

I'd rather donate to organizations who can do more and spread out funds to better help those in need.

On 7/2/2021 at 8:19 AM, NeuroTypical said:

Holy cow can that be hard to discern.  Addictions and mental illnesses are endemic in the homeless population.   What's the difference between a mentally ill person who can't hold down a job and pay rent, and a mentally ill person who won't hold down a job or pay rent?   The mentally ill person might not know themselves.

We talk about grey areas - but this is more like a page where maybe the top fifth is solid white (holding folks like Fether's SIL), a large grey area flowing to solid black at the bottom. 

Tell you what - you invent a box with a green light for "truly needy" and a red light for "fraudster", and I'll be your first investor.

What about the light for the truly needy fraudster?

Eh, I suppose they're truly needy anyway, but for quite a few fraud and other general dishonesty is the only way they know to survive.

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2 minutes ago, Backroads said:

What about the light for the truly needy fraudster?

Good point. The fraudster needs the light of Christ maybe more than anyone. 
 

I truly, truly believe that’s why prison ministry is so important. It’s a religious cliche to say this, but the sick need a doctor more than the healthy. 

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Didn't want to make a separate thread for this, but it relates to the situation.

My SIL has only been married a month and will be getting an annulment. She is going over to the house for the first time in weeks to get her stuff next week (she is bringing a cop so she won’t be in any danger). She is genuinely concerned that all of her stuff has been destroyed, thrown out, or sold. If that is the case, is there any right to press charges? Her whole life is literally in that house (her clothes, kids clothes, kids beds, memorabilia, furniture, etc.) 

I understand there needs to be some proof that it was owned by her and not jointly owned, but if she can prove that they were originally hers, is that enough?

@Just_A_Guy you are a lawyer right? 

Edited by Fether

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