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Homeless Celiacs
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I read an article in Oct/Nov. issue of "Living Without", Special-Diet Food Banks. If anyone is interested the article mentions several way one can get involved, help, educate, etc. I don't know if I'm permitted to re-print contact information in the article?

You can put the link. Or a copy of a part of the article with that info. You just can't link to your own business or personal pages on a forum posts.

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My biggest fear in life is being homeless again.

You can always come and stay with me. :) No need to fear anything. :wub:

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I have never thought about it. But I agree that most homeless people probably aren't diagnosed with anything let alone the complex process of getting diagnosed with celiac disease. We have very few homeless people where I live, but we do have panhandlers, and the general view on panhandlers is either prove that their story is true ("Me and my kids are hungry and don't have any money for food until monday") So prove that they HAVE children and that they are indeed hungry, we have taken one family to a restraunt and watched them eat to make sure the money was going where it should. Normally they decline showing us their children or anything so we don't give them money. I presume that they spend it on drugs not food, as with many homeless people (not all) I guess I think like this because of the way I was raised.

I'm not being mean, I just think food is the least of their problems. (drugs, drug addiction, alcoholism, stds)

I remember EVERY single time a panhandler ever came up to me and my mother or father. I can count them on my fingers. I was with an aunt once and we were sitting in the car eating and one came up, knocked on her window and asked for money (he was clearly high) she said "No, I'm sorry" and turned the car on to leave he whipped out a knive and started trying to get in the window.

So I may be biased, and I'm not very old yet. But all my interactions with "homeless" or "panhandlers" are negative. I do volunteer at the local animal shelters and help them in whatever way I can. This is all in my honest opinion. Never meant to offend. B)

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I have to agree with this. Many of the folks who visit the food bank I voluteer at virtually ignore the issues they do have or don't understand them. Diabetes is the one I see the most. We get a lot of baked goods donated and even when we try to give folks diabetes freindly foods they still request lots of sweet baked goods. I have had folks that come in and will say they can't eat wheat but many only think of wheat as 'white flour'.

I live on an extremely limited income and we do get gluten free foods donated at times. Usually they will put them aside for me. To say it is appretiated is putting it mildly but when I am in the pantry I see so many who need to be tested and whose ill health is the reason they are forced to be there in the first place.

My biggest fear in life is being homeless again. I know I would starve to death but at least I wouldn't die from a massive painfilled bowel bleed.

If you ever need food, I'll send a giant care package of gluten free food your way (((((hugs)))))

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I never thought to much about food pantries, except for a tiny one near my house that is run by a church. They have a tiny thrift store attached, and use the money from the thrift store to buy food for the pantry. I shop there frequently. The people who volunteer, and the lady that runs it are all very nice. I asked them once if they had any people ever come in looking for gluten free food. She said they did not, but, if they did, they would purchase gluten free foods for them. Currently, they get pallets of breads and baked goods, cereal, cannned meats, soups, boxed meals...ETC.

I am absolutely certain that they really would help a hungry Celiac, wheat allergy...etc. Before being prescribed Zantac and getting my airborne portion of my wheat allergy under control, I would get pretty sick in the thrift store from all of the pallets of wheaty stuff. They know this, and when they see me coming, they start opening windows, and shutting all the doors that lead into the food pantry. They always tell me if they have a new delivery and that I should put my mask on. So, since they are that considerate of me, I know they would really help someone in need who needed gluten-free food.

What I have thought about a lot lately is natural disasters. When all those tornados hit the south this spring and wiped out entire towns, killing hundreds and leaving hundreds homeless and in shelters, I thought about the gluten-free victims. I remember seeing coverage of the shelter people being given meals. It was all wheaty foods and it disturbed me greatly. I felt so helpless, I wanted to get in my car and bring the gluten free people food. It was troubling, but to far away from me. Then, they had a news blip about Celiac groups from surrounding towns bringing gluten-free foods to the shelters. That warmed my heart. If I ever have the opportunity when there is a natural disaster within driving distance from my home, I will go, with a mobile kitchen and gluten-free food to feed the gluten-free victims.

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What I have thought about a lot lately is natural disasters. When all those tornados hit the south this spring and wiped out entire towns, killing hundreds and leaving hundreds homeless and in shelters, I thought about the gluten-free victims.

Me too.

There are Celiac groups in Alabama, more than one, and they are very active. I would not at all be surprised to learn that they have done outreach to tornado victims and to the homeless.

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Interesting. Something that I've been obsessing about lately, too.

I just yesterday volunteered at Angeline's, a homeless women's shelter in Seattle and when we toured the kitchen I was just about to ask "What do you do for people with food sensitivities, like wheat?" when I spied three packs of rice-based wheat-free hamburger buns, and they were gone after lunch of sloppy joes was served. I never did get to ask the cook as they were so busy.

One idea I have is that my friend's son is about to start his Eagle Scout project and I've given him the idea that he should work with the local food bank to set up a gluten-free pantry like the one in the article. I can help him with research and if he gets it going I'll help publicize it with the local celiac groups. I don't really have time to do it all myself but if this doesn' work, I may have to. My company, Umpqua Bank, gives each employee 40 hours a year to volunteer on bank time, so that would help me in terms of time.

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I never thought to much about food pantries, except for a tiny one near my house that is run by a church. They have a tiny thrift store attached, and use the money from the thrift store to buy food for the pantry. I shop there frequently. The people who volunteer, and the lady that runs it are all very nice. I asked them once if they had any people ever come in looking for gluten free food. She said they did not, but, if they did, they would purchase gluten free foods for them. Currently, they get pallets of breads and baked goods, cereal, cannned meats, soups, boxed meals...ETC.

I am absolutely certain that they really would help a hungry Celiac, wheat allergy...etc. Before being prescribed Zantac and getting my airborne portion of my wheat allergy under control, I would get pretty sick in the thrift store from all of the pallets of wheaty stuff. They know this, and when they see me coming, they start opening windows, and shutting all the doors that lead into the food pantry. They always tell me if they have a new delivery and that I should put my mask on. So, since they are that considerate of me, I know they would really help someone in need who needed gluten-free food.

What I have thought about a lot lately is natural disasters. When all those tornados hit the south this spring and wiped out entire towns, killing hundreds and leaving hundreds homeless and in shelters, I thought about the gluten-free victims. I remember seeing coverage of the shelter people being given meals. It was all wheaty foods and it disturbed me greatly. I felt so helpless, I wanted to get in my car and bring the gluten free people food. It was troubling, but to far away from me. Then, they had a news blip about Celiac groups from surrounding towns bringing gluten-free foods to the shelters. That warmed my heart. If I ever have the opportunity when there is a natural disaster within driving distance from my home, I will go, with a mobile kitchen and gluten-free food to feed the gluten-free victims.

The food pantry I give food to told me she had only had maybe 2 requests for gluten-free food. When I bring things in, she puts up a notice and a note on the shelf ( high, need a chair to reach). Then people ask for it. they just assume she doesn't have any pasta or crackers.

Maybe you could help your food pantry with a few items and a sign. Maybe just enough for 1 family - pasta, pasta sauce, crackers, Chex,couple of cans of Progresso, gluten-free Betty Crocker or Welch's fruit snacks, Bisquick, brownie mix, etc. I include pasta sauce, even tho most is gluten-free because, what if they don't have sauce today? Silly to get pasta with no sauce.

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You can always come and stay with me. :) No need to fear anything. :wub:

(((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))

And vice versa.

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If you ever need food, I'll send a giant care package of gluten free food your way (((((hugs)))))

Thank you. Hopefully things will never get that bad.

This board is so full of so many great people. I do remember one time when someone was really struggling and it was heartwarming to see how many offered to help.

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Thank you. Hopefully things will never get that bad.

This board is so full of so many great people. I do remember one time when someone was really struggling and it was heartwarming to see how many offered to help.

That is wonderful. We're a family!!! :D

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I have never thought about it. But I agree that most homeless people probably aren't diagnosed with anything let alone the complex process of getting diagnosed with celiac disease. We have very few homeless people where I live, but we do have panhandlers, and the general view on panhandlers is either prove that their story is true ("Me and my kids are hungry and don't have any money for food until monday") So prove that they HAVE children and that they are indeed hungry, we have taken one family to a restraunt and watched them eat to make sure the money was going where it should. Normally they decline showing us their children or anything so we don't give them money. I presume that they spend it on drugs not food, as with many homeless people (not all) I guess I think like this because of the way I was raised.

I'm not being mean, I just think food is the least of their problems. (drugs, drug addiction, alcoholism, stds)

I remember EVERY single time a panhandler ever came up to me and my mother or father. I can count them on my fingers. I was with an aunt once and we were sitting in the car eating and one came up, knocked on her window and asked for money (he was clearly high) she said "No, I'm sorry" and turned the car on to leave he whipped out a knive and started trying to get in the window.

So I may be biased, and I'm not very old yet. But all my interactions with "homeless" or "panhandlers" are negative. I do volunteer at the local animal shelters and help them in whatever way I can. This is all in my honest opinion. Never meant to offend. B)

There are homeless all over but they may not be real obvious. While some do have substance abuse or mental health issues the fastest growing population in homelessness is now famlies and single women and children. In some cases the state can help them find housing or some will stay with relatives or freinds or live in their cars.

We also are seeing a lot more of the working poor in the food banks and shelters. The numbers our food bank feed have increased by at least 30% in the last year. Many are folks that never thought they would ever have to ask for help.

Many, even with good jobs are just one step away from homelessness. For many the bills and taxes are increasing much faster than their budgets can keep up.

Thank you for volunteering at the animal shelter. They need help also but it might change your opinion of the homeless if you volunteer at a soup kitchen or a food pantry. It can be a real eyeopener.

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Some people in this thread seem to think that you can't become homeless after you get diagnosed with celiac disease. Just because someone at one point had the ability to see a doctor who could diagnose them with celiac does not mean that they can not become homeless, or need to get food from a food bank. A lot of people who work or have homes, still need help from food banks. There is a large percentage (can't remember the exact amount off the top of my head), of individuals (before the recent downturn in the economy) who work paycheck to paycheck. Losing their jobs can mean losing their housing or ability to buy food. I have faced the prospect of homelessness twice, once before diagnosis (after graduating from college and refusing to move back in with my severely abusive parents) and once after (when I moved for graduate school and could not find a job that would work with my school schedule when they said that you could go part time and work and yet had required classes in the morning and afternoon every day for the first year). The worst fear when I was facing possible homelessness after diagnosis and was trying to figure out how I would live in my car if needed, was what I would do if glutened. You say that people would just go back to eating gluten. Have you read the experiences of people who have done gluten challenges? How would you expect someone who is homeless, and hence doesn't necessarily have ready access to a bathroom, to deal with the D that comes with it for some people? Getting the effects of gluten for me would make it even harder for me to be able to get back on my feet. Not all people who are homeless are mentally ill. It really only takes job loss to make someone homeless. And it isn't like that isn't happening all over the place right now.

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I been houseless in Hawaii. Then camped for many months. Got a propane stove and cooked one big meal a day at a beach park. Switched ice in the coolers.

Camping was easier, had access to refridgerator and propane stove and fire.

If I wasnt able to cook one big meal a day then I would have been screwed.

I am currently in New York City figuring out how to get proper nutrition without access to a refridgerator or stove. I may have to deal with being homeless next year.

I think a multivitamin will be necessary. Maybe eating a big $10 meal every other day at a restaurant.

A day may go like this:

Take vitamin.

Eat fruit and 2 hardboiled eggs in the morning with a bit of oil. goto bathroom.

Eat late lunch at a restaurant.

 

Any suggestions are welcome

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which is what I was basically trying to say but apparently didn't do a very good job!

Yeah, I agree.  I'm pretty sure that the homeless are not being diagnosed but many are in such poor shape, it really doesn't matter.  They have enough troubles with mental illness so their gut isn't on the high list of priorities.  

 

There are places set up where they can get a free meal, if they choose.  Some will not go because they will not stay in the shelters.  They are tough people and manage to survive on the streets. It is sad but there have always been homeless and many do not want help.

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I approached our local one here and they were happy to do it but asked if I could check labels before they put them in gluten-free boxes.  Hopefully it continues after we leave.

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I been houseless in Hawaii. Then camped for many months. Got a propane stove and cooked one big meal a day at a beach park. Switched ice in the coolers.

Camping was easier, had access to refridgerator and propane stove and fire.

If I wasnt able to cook one big meal a day then I would have been screwed.

I am currently in New York City figuring out how to get proper nutrition without access to a refridgerator or stove. I may have to deal with being homeless next year.

I think a multivitamin will be necessary. Maybe eating a big $10 meal every other day at a restaurant.

A day may go like this:

Take vitamin.

Eat fruit and 2 hardboiled eggs in the morning with a bit of oil. goto bathroom.

Eat late lunch at a restaurant.

 

Any suggestions are welcome

Cheese and hard salamis don't require refrigeration.

Find a buffet (and a large bag/backpack and some plastic bags)

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I been houseless in Hawaii. Then camped for many months. Got a propane stove and cooked one big meal a day at a beach park. Switched ice in the coolers.

Camping was easier, had access to refridgerator and propane stove and fire.

If I wasnt able to cook one big meal a day then I would have been screwed.

I am currently in New York City figuring out how to get proper nutrition without access to a refridgerator or stove. I may have to deal with being homeless next year.

I think a multivitamin will be necessary. Maybe eating a big $10 meal every other day at a restaurant.

A day may go like this:

Take vitamin.

Eat fruit and 2 hardboiled eggs in the morning with a bit of oil. goto bathroom.

Eat late lunch at a restaurant.

 

Any suggestions are welcome

You are in a place in NY where the cost of living is sky high. I don't know why you are in the city but if you can move Upstate you might have better luck finding work and someplace to live with a reasonable rent.  Celiac is considered a disability so you might even find you are able to access training and help getting into a small apartment. This is especially the case if you have other problems in addition to the celiac.  In NY even if you are a single adult there is temporary assistance that can help you get on your feet. That assistance goes a lot farther Upstate than in the city. 

If you are not already make sure you apply for food stamps and make use of any food banks near you.

I have been homeless myself a couple times when I was younger and it was difficult even before my celiac symptoms became severe. Being homeless again is one of my biggest fears. I hope things improve for you soon.

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You are in a place in NY where the cost of living is sky high. I don't know why you are in the city but if you can move Upstate you might have better luck finding work and someplace to live with a reasonable rent.  Celiac is considered a disability so you might even find you are able to access training and help getting into a small apartment. This is especially the case if you have other problems in addition to the celiac.  In NY even if you are a single adult there is temporary assistance that can help you get on your feet. That assistance goes a lot farther Upstate than in the city. 

If you are not already make sure you apply for food stamps and make use of any food banks near you.

I have been homeless myself a couple times when I was younger and it was difficult even before my celiac symptoms became severe. Being homeless again is one of my biggest fears. I hope things improve for you soon.

 

My thoughts? For the love of all that is holy, if you find yourself on the verge of being on the streets and there is nothing you can do to stop it, you have exhausted every last effort to keep a roof over your head, my advice certainly wouldn't be to flee to a place where you will almost certainly freeze to death. I slept on this because I was wondering what options there are. Yes, NYC is ridiculously expensive and I am also left wondering what is tying you to the city. My immediate thought is to move somewhere warm. Then you can fall back on the camping out solution since it has worked in the past. Sure assistance will go farther in upstate NY than in the city, but if you find yourself homeless in upstate NY you'll be a popsicle. At least if you leave the city for somewhere warm you have a chance. You've survived it before, you can again.

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My thoughts? For the love of all that is holy, if you find yourself on the verge of being on the streets and there is nothing you can do to stop it, you have exhausted every last effort to keep a roof over your head, my advice certainly wouldn't be to flee to a place where you will almost certainly freeze to death. I slept on this because I was wondering what options there are. Yes, NYC is ridiculously expensive and I am also left wondering what is tying you to the city. My immediate thought is to move somewhere warm. Then you can fall back on the camping out solution since it has worked in the past. Sure assistance will go farther in upstate NY than in the city, but if you find yourself homeless in upstate NY you'll be a popsicle. At least if you leave the city for somewhere warm you have a chance. You've survived it before, you can again.

I will not likely be homeless in NYC. There is nothing tying me to being anywhere.

I am looking for suggestions on how to get required nutrients without cooking or storing food in a refridgerator. Its been done for thousands of years.

Currently I have access to a fridge and stove.

I am unable to work due to previous work injuries. I am waiting to see a doctor and file a claim for SSI/SSDI. Celiac will not be a factor with that because my intestinal biopsy did not show atrophy.

I am not concerned with a roof. I am concerned with how to get necessary daily nutrients without cooking or buying gluten free junk food(breads, cookies, anything else packaged).

It is my understanding that no law exists in the US defining what it means for a food to be gluten free. I trust a few products but they need to be cooked.

I have cooked all my own meals for 9 years.

I cook sweet potato, rice, plantains, and yucca for carbs.

I cook vegetables.

The only packaged gluten free foods I eat are bobs red mills pancake, cookie, and cornbread mix.

Without cooking I will need enough carbs and vegetables to survive.

Can anyone recommend a multivitamin they take?

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I am looking for suggestions on how to get required nutrients without cooking or storing food in a refridgerator. Its been done for thousands of years.

 

Lots of canned stuff can be eaten right out of the can without heating. Most veggies, tuna, canned chicken or ham in small cans. Mix a bunch you like together and throw a dressing on it like you would a salad.  Nuts, Dryed meats, fresh veggies and fruits by the piece.  You might be able to find shelf stable milk in small containers for drinking or cereal. There are shelf stable supplement drinks like Ensure that some find helpful. Do check out the recipe section as I'm sure a lot of folks will have suggestions that might not see this thread.

 I don't know if there is one near you but if you live near a Wegmans they label all their products that are gluten free with a circle G. I use Wegmans brand, NOW or Country Life for supplements.

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Thank you, thats what I needed.

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Baked beans are gluten free and nutritional and can be eaten from the tin.  Other tinned fruit and vegetables too.

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