My childhood friend of 40 years is in bad, bad shape. He is 48 but looks a decade older; he is a rugged, strong guy who is very physically capable but I think because he appears older he is probably being discriminated against because of age.
He is a skilled "old school" mechanic (heavy equipment and diesel), but doesn't have any certifications. He is not and cannot be computer literate in any way. He is dyslexic and ashamed, as well. For the last decade I have encouraged him to go for more certifications or a CDL-A license, etc. but anything that involves reading or studying or learning, he is intimidated and overwhelmed beyond belief.
He's been out of work for the last year and has been desperately trying to stay afloat since then. Now he is down to $1.68 in his bank account, and his pride won't let him ask family or friends for money. He lives in a house his mother owns (she doesn't live there)so doesn't have to pay rent. I have been paying his electric and phone, and helping him buy groceries for the last six months. I can see in his face how hard it is for him to accept these small things.
He spends day after day after day looking for jobs. He will clean chimneys, shovel snow off roofs, plow snow, do landscaping, handyman work, anything he can find from day to day. I helped him get a landscaping/handyman business going last year, and he had loads of clients coming in! But a few weeks into it, he just bailed. He could not handle the organization side of things and made a big mess.
He takes aluminum cans and other metal to a place he can get money for it, he has sold just about everything he has over the last year. Old junk cars, boat, equipment, things he found at flea markets, etc. He would have a perpetual yard sale all summer long (we are in New England) just to make a few bucks.
He tries to make a dollar stretch as far as he can. He doesnt splurge on ANYTHING because the money isn't there. He has two kids (teens) with his ex and pays her no support because there is no money. But he is a good father and helps out in any ways he can, and his family helps with extras for the kids, even college funds.
My point is, and I'm sorry this is long, I am worried for my friend. He has no insurance, not a pot to piss in, and is becoming more depressed and anxiety ridden by the day. He tries not to let it show, but today he finally broke down and told me how desperate things have become.
I plan to take off work next Friday to go to the unemployment office with him (for anything they have), and to Lowe's and Home Depot (for warehouse or loading jobs, he cannot cashier), the hospitals (for security or janitorial type jobs), and finally to a couple of staffing agencies that hire blue collar guys.
I am starting to feel he may think of killing himself if he doesn't find work. He's an alcoholic to boot, already diagnosed with hepatitis of the liver, but can't do anything about it. He made me swear to not tell his mother or any family members that he is so broke and won't even have money for propane in another week. I don't know what to do.