Sage Against The Machine

How do I help my bipolar homeless niece?

It’s humbling and a little shocking for me to have people ask me how to help their homeless family members. I often think to myself, “isn’t there someone more qualified to answer these requests other than me?” But what I’ve learned in life is that leaders are always unprepared and unqualified for the job set before them. They just do the best they can and hope it’s good enough.

Here is a response to a woman who is trying to help her homeless niece who has bipolar and won’t go to therapy or stay on her meds. Her niece is currently staying with her, but will probably move on soon. That’s the pattern for her…

Hi. It’s nice to hear from you.

Thank you for helping your niece. She’s incredibly lucky to have you.

I’ve found that being nomadic is part of this process for many people. The tension of one location grows and grows and then the person feels like they must leave.

This kind of person is very challenging. I’ve seen people get back on their meds. But they often don’t like how they feel on them.

I wonder if you have a shed or space in a garage that she could feel like she always could come to.

I think there comes a point where just offering love and non-judgement is sometimes about the best you can do.

It’s like homeless palliative care. Keep yourself emotionally and physically safe and then try to keep them emotionally and physically safe.

Thank you so much for the work you are doing. It’s making a huge difference in your niece’s life, I promise you. And she is deeply thankful that you care, even if she doesn’t show it.