• Few or No Friends

Homeless and friendless

Published: May 3, 2014 | By | 9 Replies Continue Reading
Homeless and friendless? The spiral into homelessness is usually a result of many factors.


Hi Irene,

How can one person who had it all now find herself homeless, friendless, jobless and living in a council flat? I have not had a bath for a week, or eaten for a week how does one pull oneself out of this. How can I be so alone and lonely in the world?


Homeless and friendless


Dear Homeless and Friendless,

How I wish there was one easy answer to lift you out of your despair and difficult situation.

There are many reasons why people become homeless. These typically include loss of housing, health problems, unemployment, mental illness, alcoholism, and/or lack of social supports (such as having family and friends). When any individual becomes homeless, a number of these factors frequently come into play.

Often, people refer to homelessness as a downward spiral because one loss (e.g. employment) leads to another (e.g. housing). Experiencing a series of such losses can be overwhelming and certainly erode a person’s sense of confidence and self-worth.

Does the council flat (social housing) where you are staying offer social services in addition to providing you with a roof over your head? If so, seek out the help of any social worker or counselor associated with the housing program who can provide you with advice and support. With this individual, try to understand the factors that led to your current predicament because they may offer clues on how to extricate yourself.

See if you can find some temporary work, however menial it may seem now, to offer you a sense of accomplishment and some spending money. Be a good friend and neighbor to those living near you so you don’t feel quite so alone. Even though your circumstances may feel hopeless, you will be able to begin rebuilding your life one step at a time.

Your note doesn’t offer much personal information about you. But having found this website and being able to write about your situation suggests you are an intelligent and resourceful person with a better future ahead of you.

We will be rooting for you!

Best, Irene

*Earlier in her career, Dr. Levine created and served as the first Director of the Program on Homeless and Mental Illness for the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Gabrielle says:


    I live in the US and will keep you in my prayers. I am a Roman Catholic and invite you to the Church. We believe Jesus is Really Present in the Holy Eucharist and you can visit Him.

    I wish you all the very best.
    Gabrielle 🙂

  2. Anna Claire says:

    I am 64 years old ex singer and a actress having health problems and housebound.I am looking for a female partner to call me .

  3. Louise says:


    no I do not have social worker or any one else that can help. am in a flat in an area which I do not know. cant remember the last time I ate a meal,had a coffee and sleep is very hard to do.

    how I am going to get out of this I have no idea. and it is very very scary indeed.the council are not much help

    take care

    • Irene says:


      You need immediate help and services that can’t be provided on this website or by one individual. If there are no counselors associated with your housing program, please call a hotline immediately.

      • A free 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) is available to people in crisis (or their loved ones) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Calls are routed to local crisis centers.
      • In the UK or Ireland, Samaritans offers confidential support at 08457 90 90 90.

      Best, Irene

      • Amy F says:

        Please use one of the numbers Irene gave you. There are so many limitations to what people can do to help online. If you’re having feeling suicidal or a psychiatric emergency, you can also walk into any hospital, police station or fire department and they will assist you in getting immediate care.

    • Linda says:

      Have you heard of http://www.emmaus.org.uk For some it is the answer. Not sure if you can just walk in or whether you need a referral but walk in and ask.

  4. Amy F says:

    I’m so sorry you have so much going on in your life. I hope that you have social workers and counselors to help you address your various concerns.
    Your basic needs must be taken care of before you’ll have the emotional resources to be able to have the resources to give of yourself in a relationship. If you have nothing to give yourself, you’ll have nothing to give to a friend in terms of reciprocity. Once you have a more stable source of housing and you can take care if your basic needs, you’ll be freer to explore a social life and make healthy friendships.

    In the mean time, ask your social worker about support groups where you’ll find companionship with others who are experiencing similar difficulties. If you or a loved have a substance abuse problem, seek out a 12-step program as a source of support and companionship.

    As Irene said, you’re resourceful enough to have found this website, so that bodes well for your being able to get yourself back on track, with the support of any social services available.

    Good luck!

  5. Jennifer Smith says:

    Dear Dr Irene

    Are you permitted to give out contact details? I would love to befriend and support this obviously abandoned woman. It is as the Bible says, that poor people have no friends or abandon them but nobody should be deprived of the experience of having a true friend that loves them. Could I befriend her?

    Stories like this stir my heart, especially as I give to homeless charities. She is obviously in great need.


    • Irene says:

      Hi Jen,

      I truly appreciate your reaching out. Please see my note above to Louise. She needs help from agencies close to where she lives.

      Unfortunately, I cannot give out email addresses and I always caution readers to be careful about connecting online with people they don’t know.

      Best, Irene

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