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when my mother becomes homeless, can i live with a friend?

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  • when my mother becomes homeless, can i live with a friend?

    i recently just turned 15 and i live in ohio. my living situation has always been unstable. my mom has always been moving us around with her boyfriends, and moving them in with us. with each and every boyfriend, her personality changes. not only that, but her parenting style changes too. i get used to one rule and then next thing you know i’m in trouble with her and the next boyfriend for disobeying a rule i didn’t even know was there. our living situation never lasts more than a year. we’ve only had our own house about 2 times, which never lasts long. she’s also emotionally abusive. she gets in my face and yells and screams at me and has told me on more than one occasion that i’m just a “little girl” and that i absolutely have to do whatever she says no matter what it is because she is my mother. the other day i got her permission to go somewhere and since i left earlier as planned she threatened to call and report me as a runaway even though i told her where i was and she said it was fine. i believe that she became a mother to get the type of control she’s never had with anyone else. i’m getting older now, i’m in a happy relationship and i’m a straight A soon to be sophomore honors student and i have a life now. this past summer i’ve been staying at my girlfriends grandmas and i was the happiest i’ve ever been there. i was wondering, when my mom leaves her boyfriend or vice versa and we’re homeless again, can I legally stay with my girlfriends grandma again? i don’t want to live with any of my family because they’re very old fashioned and homo/transphobic and would send me right back with my mom. my dads not in my life. could i stay with her just for the time being?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are having a really difficult time at home. Know that you deserve to feel safe and happy at home and that abuse of any kind is never ok. Additionally, we are glad to hear that you are doing so well in school and that you have people in your life who care so much about you.

    No one deserves to have their identity denied or insulted. One number that specializes in supporting LGBT+ teens is the LGBT National Youth Talkline (1-800-246-7743).

    You also mentioned wanting to live with your girlfriend’s grandma. Because you are 15, you will be considered a minor in the state of Ohio until you are 18. Until then, living anywhere other than with your legal guardians and without their permission is considered a status offense, something that is illegal due to someone’s age. If you continue to stay with your girlfriend’s grandma and your mother files a runaway report, the police would be able to look for you. If they find you, they could send you back home. This alone would not result in legal consequences for you but your girlfriend’s grandmother could be charged with harboring a runaway.

    One option you have is to reach out to your non-emergency police line with hypothetical and anonymous questions. Emotional abuse can be hard to prove, but the police may be able to give you some helpful resources for you to gauge your rights moving forward. You can also reach out to Child Help (1-800-422-4453), the National Child Abuse Hotline, for support and additional information as you navigate this situation.

    Lastly, always feel free to reach out to us at the National Runaway Safeline (1-800-RUNAWAY) as we are toll-free, confidential, and 24/7.

    Stay Strong,

    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


    • #3
      but if she was homeless, how would they return me home? wouldn’t they want me to stay with someone else for the time being and couldn’t my mom get her kids taken away in general for being homeless?


      • ccsmod13
        ccsmod13 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello, thanks for contacting NRS.

        We are sorry to hear you and your mom are having a difficult time due to homelessness. We are not legal experts, but we can share some general information. Runaway reports are enforced if a minor leaves home without permission and their parents wants them to return home. Since your mom is currently homeless and does not have anywhere for you to stay then your safety is important. If your mom does not have a safe alternative for you and gives you permission to stay with your friend then there would not necessarily be police intervention. There is a possibility that child protective services could intervene in the situation if your mom is not able to provide a safe and adequate place for you to live. If you would like to make a report, the national child abuse hotline can give you more information about the process and help you start a report. You can reach them at 1-800-422-4453.

        We are available 24/7 by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or chat at if you have any other concerns or you would like to talk more about what is going on.

        Stay safe,
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