Survival Guide to Homelessness

No matter where you go, there you are.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I'm not a bum!

You may be thinking, who needs this? I have a home. I have a life. I'm not one of those bums.

I'm not a bum either, and I never have been, but in 1996 I had a reversal of fortune. I'd gone off to college and it just didn't work out at the school I'd chosen. Unhappy, I dropped out and headed back to my hometown. With dropping out my financial aid came to an end, and I found myself nearly broke and without an income stream. Homelessness followed quickly and naturally from the situation.

How secure are you really? How many paychecks could you go without before the rent, the mortgage, the credit card, and the car are not being paid? If you said two, you are doing better than most. If you would be immediately using whatever consumer credit you have available, you're like most of us. Like storms, earthquakes, and car accidents, homelessness happens. It happens to decent, hardworking people. It happens because our lives are a system, and when part of that system fails the whole thing can come crashing down.

What you are more than who you are will determine the resources that are available to you. Women can rely more easily on family than men can. A man who runs to his parents suffers an amazing ego shot, in addition to the abuse he takes from others. Certain ethnic groups are good at supporting members until they get on their feet, immigrant groups for instance. If you are a single, young, strong man, of American birth, then you, my friend, have no one but yourself to depend on. If you are a teen runaway, you have people actively trying to exploit you. If you are a young woman without family resources, you really ought to prepare for this possibility before you have any idea that you might become homeless. A young family? You need to have a plan in place.

It is good just to think about these things, whether you prepare or not. If you think about how to be homeless successfully, comfortably, then you are 80% prepared just from putting your mind into that space. The best preparation for homelessness is knowing that you could be, and looking at the resources around you with that in mind.

I'd like you to forget what you know about the homeless as you read this book. The ideas that we've been taught about who they are, the veterans, the mentally ill or retarded, are simply stereotypes, and they contain much more fiction than fact. If you are already homeless, you must dismiss these stigmatizing images, and when you see someone that matches the stereotype, deal with the individual. Very often they will have deep knowledge that will help you to live well. If you can get that knowledge, well, you may see that bum with new eyes.

82 Comments:

At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How old are you? Why did your family not take you in? What part of the country did this take place in? Just need a few more details. What I have read so far is mind blowing. It woke me up, I mean that literally, it's 1 am, LA time.

 
At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:56 AM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

I'm thirtysomething. I was a teen runaway, and became homeless in a stable way in my late twenties, remaining homeless into my thirties. Makes no difference why I didn't stay with family. I was homeless in California.

 
At 5:22 AM, Blogger ben said...

Right on. The Buddhists call the American life style "Active Laziness" - being so busy that you ignore who you are. I think this:

"If you think about how to be homeless successfully, comfortably, then you are 80% prepared just from putting your mind into that space."

scares most people and they just ignore that. The beautiful thing about being homeless is it forces you to examine the basics of being a human. This is something that everyone should experience - the world would be better place for it.

Most people are what they own - they have no "I" outside of their things, it's pretty shallow.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger modestmike said...

i read this blog entry, and it was very comforting to me..because just recently i have gotten in almost the exact same situation as the one you described. you see, my mother has developed a chronic disease: overspending/retail therapy. she buys, buys, buys. it started upon her second divorce. any problems that come her way, she'll take all of her money (the woman is quite wealthy) and will spend in on redecorating. however, at the end of my first college semester, she decided to redecorate her life by refusing to let me stay with her. why? i do not know. maybe because i dissaprove of her current way of living. she cheated me on my taxes which denied me a tax return and even financial aid to help pay for my schooling. now that school is over, i have been floating around here and there, staying up on the streets at night and sleeping in parks during the day. i come to the library now, to get out of the heat or rain, and thats how i access the internet. my bank account is $300 overdrawn, i haven't been able to pay my school bills, the car that i was sleeping in broke down 2 weeks ago, and 3 days ago they shut my cell phone off because i have absolutely no money to pay the bill. i want to better myself...but how do i do it with absolutely nobody? how do i find a job without a way for jobs to contact me?? how do i get by? i'd love to talk sometime, even if you don't have any suggestions...because again, seeing this (although it is horrible) is so comforting to me right now. thanks!

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Jo said...

Nice sight! I'm homeless in Florida; disabled & looking to get my life back on track("Hello, operator, what's the number for Life?"). I'm a survivor, so I'll be fine.I'm sharing a car with-drum roll- best friend, 4 ferrets & two pet rats.:-o Take care, gang!!

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Kris said...

Since I am not currently homeless, and hopefully will be able to avoid homelessness for the time being, What would be the single best way I could help the homeless in my community? I live in Florida, but it still gets cold. I would appreciate ideas of small but meaningful ways i could help. Lest I find myself in your shoes someday, maybe fate will send me an angel too.

 
At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in answer to ModestMike;check out your local Employment Development Department(EDD). I know in California they have phone numbers and faxes you can use. You can also use their computors and printers. You can access Caljobs from any internet access and find the closest office to you. Good luck. My family and I are the working poor and homeless in a hotel for now.

 
At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That article should be very sobering for most readers. I was homeless myself for a brief period (about a month)in the early 90's. I had moved to LA to go to school and was robbed at gunpoint at the bus terminal. Of course being 19 I was still naive and had all my money on me. So I was stranded there for a few weeks until I was able to get hold of someone to wire money for me to get a ticket back home. I've now completed colleged and make over $100k per year in the medical field, but no matter how much money I have, I will never forget the experience of living on the street and not knowing when, where or if the next meal was coming or if you would be knifed in your sleep. For those reading this, don't snicker the next time you see a homeless person because it could easily happen to you.

 
At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Mitchell said...

It's great to hear about your enjoyment to the life of homelessness. I love it too. I get to go to college and play soccer for the school all because I decided to live out of my truck.
I've been living in a field with access to a house for a year and a half in Santa Barbara but now I am mobile.
It's amazing how much time is out there when your not a slave to wages.
Because of this lifestyle I will be able to live in Panama for a few months next year.
I'm not a bum either.

 
At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am recently homeless.i came to az two years ago with my ex wife and three kids and thirty two thousand dollars.now i am flat broke and unemployed.my ex has gone on to be successful in her job and social life.after she deemed me useless and a loser a cold shoulder is all she has to offer me.a spot to crash on the floor is sometimes offered,but it comes with a price...humiliation.my kids don't even understand why mommy wants daddy to go away.after fighting against her leaving me homeless or have to suffer humiliation every day just to have a place to go at night i finally realized that i would be more of a loser if i sleep on her floor rather than on a park bench where at least i can feel a sense of peace.two years ago i had what i thought was every thing i needed to be happy and secure.as it turns out the streets are a better friend to me than the woman i thought i would be with.i may be a bum in some peoples eyes,but those who judge me by my living on the street don't know me and the situation that put me here.i know where i came from and all i have done in my life to be a respectable part of society.so judge me and call me a bum but will use this experience as a lesson to not let this ever happen to me again and view the homeless problems in america in a different way.we don't always have a choice of what happens to us,all we can do is make the best of it and find something positive about it

 
At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Ian said...

More people need to have this attitude. If more people did, we wouldn't have these self-righteous snobs who think they are better than human just because they have a new SUV and fancy cellphone. What these same people fail to release however, is the fact that they could lose their job *click* just like that. Not to mention that inflation is really taking the economy by the throat. This is why I NEVER laugh at a homeless person.

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great site from what I've read so far. Much of what I read really hits home. I have an interest in voluntary homelessness. I personally would like to experience being homeless. So many people seem to fear it. I am not a materialistic person. I never want the "things" I own to own me. Currently I am living a simplistic life but not as simple as being homeless would allow. I fantasize about moving to a warmer climate and living in a tent or simple shelter. I understand there are hardships, too. My question for you would be, how much money do you need for your food expenses? I estimate that you could have 2 healthy meals per day on $3-5. Do you think that is accurate? If I were to live near a fresh water source that would take care of bathing and I could boil water for drinking. Water, food and shelter, am I missing any other neccesities?

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

If you are planning on boiling water/cooking, you will need to factor in the cost of fuel and the cost of your cooking equipment. That may be very inexpensive, or more elaborate, depending on your skills and preferences. When estimating food costs, it is always best to estimate high and aim low. If you think you could do with $3 to $5 a day, then design a life with a budget of $7 to $10. This will improve your mood and guard against depression. It's also probably more realistic, honestly.

 
At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so ironic. I have recently bought a house and have been happily married for almost three years. But, for some reason I can't stop thinking about being homeless. I have a decent plan laid out. What for, I don't know. If you are homeless, stay near a restaurant's garbage. They are required to throw tons of food away! I work at my family's restaurant, and it is just crazy! But, the Health Dept. makes restaurants throw away perishables every seven days, way before the food spoils. Also, quality control (my steak is overcooked) and the shear fact, Americans waste food when they order out. Last thing. I keep fantasizing that I am homeless without a car. But, I have two. I'm not sure what's going on inside me. Is anyone else on here thinking like this?

 
At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Pariah said...

I've been thinking the same thing. I have a decent job, a vehicle, cell phone, all that. But for some reason I've always been willing to give it up. I got divorced about a year and a half ago. My ex-wife left and is remarried now. I keep telling myself the only reason I'm holding on to all this is because we have two kids. If they weren't around I'd give it all up in a heart beat. Should I be thinking that? Society keeps telling me the only way to keep the right to see my children is to keep a job, car, house, etc. Is there any other way?

 
At 12:27 AM, Blogger Ferenc said...

I'm going to be homeless starting on Friday.

Like a previous poster said, I'm half curious about what real living is like without society dictating to me my thoughts and supposed desires.

I'm nervous about not being able to eat and nervous about getting attacked. I'm going to go to Cocoa Beach in Florida- any hints on being homeless and staying safe?

 
At 6:43 AM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

Keep reading the blog. It is all about being homeless and being safe. Homelessness is not the safest lifestyle, though. Homelessness is to the housed as a motorcycle is to a car. You do need guts to ride.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger Tom said...

What part of the country? Why didn't your family take you in? The same family that after 10+ years of military service for a country that hates you has grown tired of missing birthdays. Christmas's with you in Iraq and not able to shop. Need I go on? Come back think it will be easy to get a job. Blown away by how lazy the majority of Americans are. Loose first few jobs as you don't know enough or the right people because you've been in Iraq, and don't have the patients for people that don't work and not used to the back stabbing that goes on. Your word against someone that has been here forever? Come on. Need I go on. It HAPPENS! SSG US Army. Now a Network Engineer, and the rest of my coworkers got a job in a callcenter after HS and were only with the company for 3ish years. Have multiple certifications but for equipment that only the government uses. Etc... etc. It happens. This is not an uncommon story, and it's HARD to pull yourself up. Plan to move back to Japan myself when my degree is done, but that's me personally.

 
At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I just thought I would like to say that I do not need to follow your recommendation about forgetting everything I know about the homeless. I have been there and done that about five times. I was fortunate that there was a shelter that I could stay in, so I didn't have to worry about where to sleep and how to stay warm, and the shelter fed us, but I have still had the exerience, and so it would be easier for me, than for most. However, I realize that the way things are getting, there may come a time when there are more homeless than non homeless, and not enought shelters for most of us. When those times come, groups will have to share resources and help each other in every way possible.

 
At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Penelope said...

I just want to add to this list of comments because coming across this article is pretty exciting. I too am homeless and I Know for a fact I am certainly not a Bum! I go to college and work 30 hours a week or slightly less, classes only leave so much time for work. I live in my car because my family is far and unavailable. I am sick of running into these stereo types that all homeless people are either straight out of prison, ex crack addicts or just straight up lazy. Its hard to be young and poor and maintain a healthy sustainable lifestyle. I love it though, i think the freedom of it is enough for me, and i think after college i'd be fine with continuing on this way, but travel more.. it leaves the pages in the book of life blank for you to fill, instead of already being written by material obligations. Thanks for writing this article, A lot of things you wrote are probably going to help me out a lot. I just met with the police last night in my car. and frankly i never knew homelessness was illegal in NJ. It makes things a little more interesting. thanks man and rock on.

 
At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the end of this month [March 2009] if I do not have someplace to live, I will be living on the streets of Mesa Arizona [that's near Phoenix]. And the whole fact is I still will attend my college classes!

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger frank in ca said...

Capitalism breeds greed and inevitably the greed will cause our demise much like the great roman empire. Socialism doesn't work either.

Although i am not currently homeless i have slept in my truck for 3 months switching from food 4 less and walmart parking lots. I eventually got a job. One of the crew noticed the bedding and clothing in the back of my truck. Without thought i said i was doing laundry but i was not believed and terminated as a result. I did not give up and eventually made my way back to being a wage slave as deemed appropriate by society. When will society realize that you don't need money you need the stuff money buys and most of what you think you need you don't. Why do we try to impress people whom don't give a rats ass about us? The Brady bunch is how we should live? ha! the dad was gay and mom and Greg were having an affair(that's reality).
Lazy is not the issue, hunger and necessity will take care of that, its about enabling people to be self sufficient. In today's society there is no easy answer but i do have some ideas.

1. Unlock your garbage cans and preferably leave your restaurants unused food in containers. Don'T be afraid to tell a homeless person digging in your can to make sure they clean up the mess.

2. Open up the empty and foreclosed homes to the homeless then pay them half of minimum wage to clean the place when tenants are ready to move in, this could be used as a tax credit for owners.

3. If they have a welfare to work program then why not a homeless to work program? this should be offered at every social services office.


The fear by "normal" people is that homeless will be getting free stuff at their expense by taxation. Seems to me that if you enable a person to be self sufficient then they wont need government money which would save tax dollars. We will help an an illegal mom have more kids and get free money however, apparently the word illegal in vague for some.

For all of you reading this from the library your not alone and it is possible to be happy whether you have a home or not. You cant control what others do for you but you can control what you do for others even if just kind words, they can be very powerful.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger Cinamingrl said...

I used to be homeless and eventually saved enough money to get into a low income apartment. The thought of becoming homeless again is always on my mind. It is a scary thought. I can never forget that experience. I am always afraid of that happening to me again.

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello, my name is shan-wich. i am 20 years old and homeless in colorado, i spent my winter in a 'hut' built out of pallets and tarps..now that the weather is a little better, i am a lot happier, there is a great homeless program here but it is a christen religious thing and i am a practicing satanist. i am the only female, and i dont drink or use drugs,so i am always being bothered by drunks who steal my stuff, or hit on me... life in the mountains is very hard. but some of the days the sun shines like gold and i am at peace. thank you for your blog , it helps keep positive thoughts in my mind...<3

 
At 5:07 AM, Blogger Chase said...

Can I sell art in order to make money if I am homeless?

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Sounds all too much like what I am used to...

Thank you for your comment.

I love this blog...

Tom

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Why not? More art in the world is always a wonderful thing!!

 
At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i appreciate and value all those who are homeless. i understand the struggle. my family has been homeless off and on for the past five years.
homelessness can be cruel, and the effects it has on a relationship, as well as, children is devastating. i truly hope the people on this blog that want to "try" homelessness are not serious, being homeless is not a game. those that become homeless are sacrificing either by force or by choice. those by force, have no choice and are being forced to learn and change spending habits and explore new income options based on pure lack. those who become homeless by choice are practicing delayed gratification, so in the end they may pay off debt or greatly increase savings.
"trying" homelessness in not an adventure. by experience, i have hit the lowest points in my life staring at my family with no where to go due to layoff, no work, not enough work, and even misspending. i have four children and sadly, all of have seen a shelter, or even a hotel room as a temporary permanent residence. my wife deserves a stable, happy and safe home to raise our children. when you experience homelessness, believe me, it's hard to feel like a man looking at your kids sleeping in strollers, or waiting for the doors to open up so you can get a shelter bed. if my bad experiences can help anyone, i would advice anyone to save and reconsider spending habits and job security. really try and see what opportunities are knocking. nothing really is stable, there is always room for improvement and it is better to avoid a problem than to find a solution for a problem. as a last bit of advice to whoever will listen, no one will take care of your family like you will, so if you won't or don't, who will?
thanks for all the suggestions in this blog, they were very helpful. i hope everyone finds what they are looking for

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

Good. A nice reality check for the dabblers. Thank you.

 
At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey im thinking about becoming homeless just because ive got too much stress where i am now and from what you say it is interesting but i am underaged what are the main problems with being underaged and homeless and how can i solve this

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

I don't think homelessness is going to reduce your stress level. Read my Message to Teens: http://guide2homelessness.blogspot.com/2004/12/message-to-homeless-teens.html

 
At 1:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all you folks who are wishing to be homeless ar desire to have nothing my wife and I will gladly trade places with you. I am a 35 year old man with a wife the same age. Despite my Military background and vast work experience i hav efound my self medically unable to do manual labor anymore. Without any other means of supporting my family my credit went to hell. Even now with my wife working and making decent money we fin our family homeless. No one will rent to us with bad credit and because we are white and working there are no programs or agencies to assist us either. we hae survived fro the better part of the last 7 years from hotel to hotel to couch to floor. Be carefull what you wish for once you get there there is rarely a way bag this isnt some faddish thing this is real life and it sucks.

 
At 7:58 PM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

First, I want to object to the "because we are white" thing in your comment. Trust me, minorities don't find it any picnic to be homeless. I let that in, but I won't allow racist ideas to be published on my blog.

To the point of your comment, this blog is about how to make living without a permanent shelter not suck. It doesn't have to suck. Part of your trouble is you are still paying rent. Those motels cost a bundle.

 
At 12:12 AM, Anonymous AL said...

thxs for making this blog, mobile. Given my own situation, i might have to go houseless myself. Problem is, i'm overstaying my welcome where i'm currently am. The family has made it obundantly clear that i should go out on my own since i'm legal now even though they're helping me out. The good part is that i got a car entirely in my name. But suppose i went & dissapeared, do you think that they'll alert the cops & begin to search for me? I'am legal now so i suppose it isn't a problem other than they're worried about my well-being, right? A come-and-gone hero of mines did the same thing a decade or 2 before, except nobody looked for him. But i guess that's different because my parents are asian, & strictness & overprotectiveness does fit the stereotype...

 
At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm 22 and honestly being a homeless gutterpunk i have never felt stronger, or more intune with myself. finding a dry place to sleep is the only negative that gets to me at all. keep your head high. CHEERS

 
At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, to those of you who want to "try" homeless for self-enlightenment or whatever spoiled brat obsession you have with not being grateful for everything life has given you - you folks are jerks who are making a mockery of real human suffering.

If you really want to help understand the homeless issue, educate yourselves, find jobs, then be benefactors -- help people get OUT of homelessness instead of creating more of a problem.

I am currently homeless. I went to one of the top ten universities in the country then went on to get my Masters, though I couldn't finish because my financial aid was cut when the banks restricted loan dispersal. My story is almost identical to the one given in this blog. Do you know how angry it made me to see kids who chose the homeless lifestyle as a fad because they were angry with their parents - while, able-bodied, I was working three jobs to put myself through school with no access to financial aid? Get real, kids, why don't you try reading and achieving instead of thinking homelessness is "cool." It's not camping - it destroys relationships, trust in humanity, self-confidence, and productivity.

God has given us tools to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Instead of wasting time on the streets trying to bond with people going through personal hell, why don't you use your talents/connections/money to do some good in this world?

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

I don't agree that homelessness has to be hell. Change your mind to change your circumstances.

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Ned said...

Huh.. I was always fine with being a bum.

 
At 10:51 PM, Anonymous DancesWithPuppydogs said...

I became homeless for the first time when I was fifteen. Got married to a fifteen year old alcoholic. Naturally, that lasted about two weeks, then as my family didn't want me back home I wound up on the street.
I was very ignorant, but learned quickly. I saved enough monery(earned by picking up cans and selling them at our local metal recycler) to buy a tent and sleeping bag. I camped out in a rather large patch of scrub woods right in the center of town. A small camp stove aided in food preparation, and when winter came, a second sleeping bag inside the first kept me nicely warm.
I lived like this til I was 23. I loved it.
I am 57 now, and I am seriously considering returning to my old campsite to live there once more. I am in a bad situation. I live where I work, at a rather seedy motel, and the work is to hard for me. I am severely disabled and I'm in intolerable pain most of the time from the work I have to do. If I quit the next time I leave to go to the store or something, I will come back to find all my stuff sitting outside and myself homeless. Costs to much to get into an apartment. I have an income not connected with my job, but not enough. I get only my room for the work I do. This seems the perfect solution for me. I know being homeless isn't easy, but it will be easier than what I'm doing now.

 
At 7:17 PM, Blogger hippie said...

I am a bum and have no problem admitting it! This doesn't mean that I don't work or won't seek work when I need money.

I live a life of voluntary simplicity. I am responsible enough and worked hard whenever I have a job. These last few years, I could only get very part-time temporary gigs - which makes it rather difficult to maintain my simple home.

Due to my being a freelancer much of the time, I do not get unemployment or other benefits.

Your blog has help me understand how to cope with a possible worst case scenario and I am less fearful of homelessness. I agree that being homeless would force one to examine the basics of being a human being.

I do not look forward to homelessness. I hope it won't be forced onto me or anyone.

 
At 5:53 PM, Blogger hippie said...

So glad to know that the blog owner is still active. I am writing this today July 6, 2010. The comments shows the time without the date. It gives the impression of an abandoned blog.

Is there a way to include to date in the comments? Date may be more important than time of day if there isn't enough space to display both.

Many Thanks for your blog.

 
At 9:23 AM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

Sorry, I haven't figured out how to get blogger to post the date. It's not an uncommon complaint from my readers.

 
At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in my late 50's and for the last three years have found myself in a situation I hoped would not ever occur. Thank God my youth was tempered with some survival skills including social networking. My goal is to get back to work and back into the world. I am currently jungled up with some pals in a major metropolitan area on the West Coast. We have a camp on the edge of a mid-size city. There are now three of us and we manage to look out for each other. We live by doing casual labor and just whatever it takes to get by. None of us is a drug user or associates with them. There are some alcohol issues that we honestly are attempting to solve with sobriety. Not always easy. This life is very challenging anyway and not for the romantic dilettante. We all have a few contacts with local citizenry. For instance I am able to shower once a week at a kindly gents house for some minor yard work. One guy gets his wages sweeping up a parking lot at a liquor store and math tutoring. We make money with the cans and the other recyclables. I work part time at a local thrift shop. Great job with many advantages, but too short! If you know how to live frugally you can make it. Just. It is pretty tight all over right now for everyone. We try to dress as well as we can. I have always done this for personal dignity and it works. It's not hard to make youself presentable. Hey, I even have a classy sportscoat I wear when looking for indoor work. Paid $1 for it ten years ago at a thrift and still looks/fits perfect. To dryclean is about $5. It is summer now and we get many people passing through. Although our camp is well hidden we have taken some "passing through" types if they are decent. No punks or lowlifes are tolerated. We get enough of that on the street. No problems usually. The cops and sheriff know we are here and check us out only very randomly. I guess they realize we are harmless dudes trying to get by. Not that there aren't some hazards. A fellow was murdered not long ago in a nearby encampment and a fire also nearby nearly consumed our own place. I personally have no problems with the law. You treat 'em OK and vice versa. One of my pals is black and can't say the same. There is still plenty of bigotry and racism around. I wasn't born yesterday. As I say we all get along well and look out for each other as best we can. I would not recommend trying to live too long on your own. Find some people you can rely on. Cover your own arse first but be a human being too and look out for friends. There are many, many good people out there. Be sure you choose well. One thing about being homeless is if you get ripped off it is usually no big deal. I have a bag of clothes (including my cool jacket), cooking stuff, and my bible. All can be replaced. But not your life. You do have to watch out. I hear enough gunfire at night to know that. Keep the campfire low. Don't be a target. But mainly be careful of who you associate with. You'll be all right. People are good! I wouldn't have made it this far if I didn't believe it. On a personal note I have had many occupations including construction, mechanic, hotel manager, plant mechanic, teamster, line cook, fishing guide, journey baker, and salesman. Married once, one son. Spend a LOT of time at public library (where I am now). Read. Gave up tobacco ten years ago and heavy booze twenty. Still do some fishing for food but increasingly difficult due to access and license fees. Do not own a car now. Walk everywhere or catch rides. Try to stay chipper and almost have booze licked. Well, I've taken up enough of your time. Be careful and good luck! This is a great site. Thank You!

 
At 12:53 AM, Anonymous Holering said...

I had a kid with a 17 year old girl who I thought needed help and I could save her. I was 19 at the time and was always working 40+ hours a week. Was a total idiot. Her Mom liked me and my Ex thought it was funny to screw around with other guys all the way till she was 20! Gimme a freakin' break! Then we seperated when I was 22 then eventrually divorced. I became thoroughly stressed out and depressed staring at the floor literally for over 4 hours without even realizing it! I then quit my job as I knew I couldn't handle it. I actually felt paranoid enough to wanna lash out at some co-workers which I didn't but I talked back to them as if they were at fault for something they didn't even do. I was pretty messed up. I'm 24 now living with my parents and I've applied in different places here and there since the past year and have had no luck. I don't even feel like it matters anymore not since my divorce. I swear demons are attacking me as I stay here in front of a freakin' computer monitor in a motorhome where I sleep and have my things. I always get in this horrific mode (like another dimension) and it makes me wanna destroy myself from the pain in my mind and what feels like glass tearing up the flesh in my chest. I've never had these pains before and I'm speaking the truth! I was born and raised Catholic and I think this has something to do with it. I got food stamps and my mom pays minimum payment on one of my credit cards. My step-dad gives me 20 bucks or so every week for the house keeping I do for their house. I just can't freakin' stand the way they are so materialistic sometimes. I just get like in a possessed mode where I wanna say the worst shit to my parents even though they're willing to support me!! I mean wtf is wrong with me here? I hate being here sometimes it's really messed up inside me. I recently wen't to Job Corps (last chance since i'm 24) and I couldn't believe some of the people there. Some people were cool like my roommates but they really didn't feel comfortable with me as I could tell. I hated being around them and all those people that just seemed so ungrateful of life and shit like with their tattoos on em like that's gonna help them get anywhere. I sometimes just hate people in general but then again I really don't. It's really just a can't live with em can't live without em sort of deal. I guess I'm probly being selfish but I left job corps and was homeless for a day. I felt so awesome being out on the streets of Idaho on my own. I couldn't believe it. I thought of going to the river (snake river?) and just seeing how I could make a living. But then I decided to call home and ask for my credit card number to order a bus ticket back home with parents. So that's where I'm at now but sometimes I just think God hates my guts for my selfishness and wants to utterly destroy me. Sometimes I think he loves me. I really am weak and twisted up inside as I do not know. Should I just be homeless or should I suffer humiliation infront of my parents and step siblings growing up so they can see how pathetic I am cleaning the house everyday and not getting a real job.

 
At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'm better off homeless than going along with the world and their bullshit. I feel like such a freakin' slave for nothing when I'm looking for work and just being here with no friends or anything. My family seems to love me but there's something just so freakin' empty about it. I don't know wtf is wrong with me and I think I just need my own space away from them instead of tearing myself apart just to act good for them! I'm gonna start practicing living in the wilderness as I read an article about how great it is though you can't divide it 100% from the way the world is right now. You can go to jail for poaching wild animals (food), you can't live on public terrain. I figure maybe I could live on a campsite without anyone noticing and have food and what not and be happy! I'm just worried about a transformation in me that might explode and tell me how lonely I am without any friends or anybody. I hope that doesn't come over me all of a sudden as I don't really feel that when I've been on my own at times. I feel that negativity alot more being in this god forsaken motorhome!!!! F**K!!!

 
At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

My husband and I are about to made homeless, I had a good job and my husband owned his own business, with the state of the economy, my husbands business really dwindled to the point of him not having any work coming in, he was forced to close the business,

In the meantime i was diagnosed with Progressive MS and Neuro Sarcoidosis, at the time i was still working, and had health insurance through the company,
until one day they decided, they were going to fire me, as i could not work in the heat, yes discrimination i have a case,

In the meantime, due to me being fired, and my husbands business closing the doors, within one month we were broke, we suddenly had bills we could not pay, we were also unable to pay our rent, so today we received a pay up or quit notice, they want us out in
the next five days

we are making sure the horses and dogs and cats are getting fed, until we can sell them off,or re home them, always making sure they are fed before we are

but i have to forgo my medications which i so badly need to keep me healthy,i cannot get help, as my e employer said i quit, that was to avoid a law suit from me, which i am doing anyway,

The heat is horrendous for me, my body cannot deal with it, so i get very sick with my MS, I am now 55 years old and have never in my life, been late with any payment,
until now, one missed payment and the want to evict us, despite that the land lord knows the circumstances, does he care, hell no

Unfortunately my illness is a very expensive one, one that i can no longer afford to get treated, so yes I am going downhill very fast, but what are my options, none

I am terrified of being homeless at my age, and also being ill, we have though of buying a tent and living in the deserts of Arizona, but that sure as heck is not a safe place to be, not only that we cannot even afford a tent

So if anyone has any suggestions as to what I can do, to get some help, would be wonderful

you know the sad part, is, that both my husband and i used to help the homeless, allowing them to come by, and have a shower and a meal in return they would clean the horse pens out,

I always felt so sorry for them as most times these people were not bums or ex convicts, just people down on there luck, and most were very nice people, and i swore this would never happen to me, how could it possibly happen to me,

Well I guess it just did,

And to tell you the truth i think i would rather be dead, than have to live on the streets, with an illness that when walking makes me look like a drunk,balance issues are huge in MS patients, and that scares the hell out of me

Thank you for letting me rant

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger hippie said...

Hi Anon who posted yesterday. I am very sorry about your situation. Please you do not have to move out until there is a court order! Stay put as long as you can. Also, try to get food stamps if you can.

I too am in my mid-50's. I am hanging in for now. I know people about my age who live in vans/cars. Employers here do not want workers my age unless they cannot find younger workers with the skills needed for the job - not very likely in this economy!

I pray that something turn around for the better for you and your husband.

 
At 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the lady with MS....I dont know how long these posts have been on here. I sit here in tears as I read. I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm sorry I have to agree w/ the guy who encouraged the kids to be grateful for what they have...this IS hell for some of us and some people do make a mockery of it. and its not just men who are expected to overcome. What makes me sick is I too am a college graduate. I am a licensed social worker and helped homeless families for ten years. Then five years ago my children died. I continued to work. I got sick and was diagnosed w lupus which they also thought was MS at one time but very similar. I went on disability bc I was almost dead. i got better a little but now i can't afford my medicine. 50% of my income goes to medicine. i have to give up my home just to survive. i have no family who cares. they just wanted my surviving children and they took them. dont see my illness so i guess they dont believe its physical regardless, i have a cat thats been my only source of comfort and reason to go on. my cat is all i have and i dont know what i'll do if i dont have a place to keep her. im terrified something bad will happen to her when we are homeless. my mom wont take her bc she has dogs. i know she will miss me too and i dont want someone giving her to the pound. i've had her 8 years. i dont want qualify for any help bc i make too much money w/ my disability and my long term disabiity thru my retirement but about a thousand a month goes to medicine. if i dont take it i will die. i get so tired of living ike this. i want my life back. this is sad way to live. sometimes i dont see the reason to go on. i would trade places w/ those kids anyday. i could stay in a hospital but thats how i lost my house, medical bills. i dont get medicaid an d it will be another year before i get medicare. doesn't have to be hell but i haven't figured out how to make it not hell. i can sleep in my car but where? and how will i keep a cat in the car i dont want to lose my cat. i lost my kids i dont want to lose my cat. maybe i could go to the vet and be put to sleep.

 
At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been homeless 3 times in my life. The first time was in one the worst summers in central US and that same year the second worst winter in decades. I had the luxury of having a station wagon and worked one full time job and 2 part time jobs. I gave most of my pay checks to my mother who was dying of cancer, doctor's gave her 6 months, she went a year and a half and the last 6 months were in a hospice with morphine drip. I paid for what she needed that S.S.I didn't cover. I was also helping to pay for my brother to get a better education. I always said if I had to do it again I would get through.
I never asked for what I can't earn on my own.
2000 was the next and time and thanks to a great and caring friend I had a roof over my head. That I will never forget as he was there when I needed a friend along with other that helped me.
Now it is heading to 2011 and I have once again homeless because I wanted to start a new life somewhere I can make my life what it was before all this.

I am NO drinker, NO addict, and a Computer Tech as well as many other skills and working on my degree in Computer Graphics.
All I need is a place I can call mine and a job to keep it and be able to pay my bills. I hate asking State or Federal govts for help.

Take a guess where I am living?
Homeless and on the streets.

Please don't assume that we are all bums and don't want our lives back and don't care.
I care more about others more than myself, some would even go as far saying that is and will be my downfall.
I say that is societies biggest downfall.
We have made this world into what it is but will in a flick of a switch, turn a blind eye on what we have done. Most of this world now is Dog Eat Dog.

Let go back to being HUMANS, not animals.

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Sara said...

Thank you for your blog it was very helpful...I was wondering if you have any tips for Females who are homeless. I have recently became homeless and could use all the advice I can get. If makes a difference I'm in Vegas

 
At 7:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am homeless as well. Back in 1997 I worked one job as a dishwasher and after business went under, I lost everything. STILL currently looking for work, and having no luck. I am clean cut, no piercings, no tatooes and no criminal record.Don't know what to do. Just turned 30. I appreciate your positive outlook on the homeless. I just wish more would actually try in life rather than just be lazy and taking advantage of society giving us a bad name.

 
At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Murrday said...

This is Dec. 6, 2010 and this blog is active. (If we all keep posting the date, that will solve that problem.)

Suggestions for getting through the winter - college town have more all night diners, laundromats and study areas. If you can get to a college town, do that, and use those places to stay out of the cold. Check out all your options, so if someone asks you to move on, you know where you can go next, and the quickest way to get there.

Newspaper vending machines sometimes drop quarters, or people will leave change in them. When I was broke, I would check every vending machine I went by, and usually wound up with enough for a cup of tea or soup, or a load of laundry. Sometimes I would also find a soda or candy bar that somebody had missed.

Vending machines in public places like college student centers are worth checking. Also check around metered parking for dropped coins, but do it carefully, so nobody thinks you're trying to break into a car. I usually check at the base of meters
along the sidewalk as I am walking along.

College towns often have affordable public transportation too. In my town, .50 will get you a ride from one end of man street to the other, and the buses are heated. I have ridden the bus around the north to south loop several times, to warm up.

So on an average broke day, I'd first walk to all the vending machines and parking meters until I found some change. Then I'd go to a grocery store, use the public bathroom, refill my water bottle, buy a can of food in a poptop or other easy open container, eat it at the cafe area in the store. Then I'd move on to the country library, read for a while, then on to the college library, since it stays open later.

A tip for blending in at the college study areas - carry a backpack, and get a copy of some classic
literature in paperback that you can be "studying for
English class", Like Tale of Two Cities or Silas Marner. Also, it is very normal to see college students sleeping on the couches in student centers between classes. You can do that too.

You're reading this at the library, so google the name of the town or county you're in, and "food
pantry". There are many such programs that provide supplemental food free to low income people.
Typically it's fresh produce, bread, canned goods and a box of cereal. Some pantries make you fill out forms to qualify, others just give you free food once a month. Here's a sample:

The Food Pantry
Homeward Bound Holiness Church
(open to anyone, no screening)
1622 McPeak Drive
Christiansburg, VA
(Plum Creek/Rt. 11)
731-1797
2nd Wednesday/Monthly
10:30-5:30

When you go to the pantry, it pays to show up early, as soon as they open. later in the day, they may run out of things.

It's usually not enough food for all month, because without a cooler, you have to eat up the fresh stuff quickly. But if you get a metal tin at the thrift shop
(and college towns often have good thrift shops) you can make the cereal last by storing it, while you use up more perishable foods first. And the weeks you have pantry food, your found coins can go for laundry or be saved for bus fare for bad weather days, or to get a wool sweater at the thrift store.
Wool keeps you much warmer than cotton.

Also, many thrift stores will have bag sale days when prices are even lower than usual, so watch for that.

Wishing you all safety and survival, Murrday

 
At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Murrday said...

Part 2 (because Google said it was too long a post to process, otherwise.)

So on an average broke day, I'd first walk to all the vending machines and parking meters until I found some change. Then I'd go to a grocery store, use the public bathroom, refill my water bottle, buy a can of food in a poptop or other easy open container, eat it at the cafe area in the store. Then I'd move on to the country library, read for a while, then on to the college library, since it stays open later.

A tip for blending in at the college study areas - carry a backpack, and get a copy of some classic
literature in paperback that you can be "studying for
English class", Like Tale of Two Cities or Silas Marner. Also, it is very normal to see college students sleeping on the couches in student centers between classes. You can do that too.

You're reading this at the library, so google the name of the town or county you're in, and "food
pantry". There are many such programs that provide supplemental food free to low income people.
Typically it's fresh produce, bread, canned goods and a box of cereal. Some pantries make you fill out forms to qualify, others just give you free food once a month. Here's a sample:

The Food Pantry
Homeward Bound Holiness Church
(open to anyone, no screening)
1622 McPeak Drive
Christiansburg, VA
(Plum Creek/Rt. 11)
731-1797
2nd Wednesday/Monthly
10:30-5:30

When you go to the pantry, it pays to show up early, as soon as they open. later in the day, they may run out of things.

It's usually not enough food for all month, because without a cooler, you have to eat up the fresh stuff quickly. But if you get a metal tin at the thrift shop
(and college towns often have good thrift shops) you can make the cereal last by storing it, while you use up more perishable foods first. And the weeks you have pantry food, your found coins can go for laundry or be saved for bus fare for bad weather days, or to get a wool sweater at the thrift store.
Wool keeps you much warmer than cotton.

Also, many thrift stores will have bag sale days when prices are even lower than usual, so watch for that.

Wishing you all safety and survival, Murrday

 
At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Murrday said...

Part 2 (because Google said it was too long a post to process, otherwise.)

So on an average broke day, I'd first walk to all the vending machines and parking meters until I found some change. Then I'd go to a grocery store, use the public bathroom, refill my water bottle, buy a can of food in a poptop or other easy open container, eat it at the cafe area in the store. Then I'd move on to the country library, read for a while, then on to the college library, since it stays open later.

A tip for blending in at the college study areas - carry a backpack, and get a copy of some classic
literature in paperback that you can be "studying for
English class", Like Tale of Two Cities or Silas Marner. Also, it is very normal to see college students sleeping on the couches in student centers between classes. You can do that too.

You're reading this at the library, so google the name of the town or county you're in, and "food
pantry". There are many such programs that provide supplemental food free to low income people.
Typically it's fresh produce, bread, canned goods and a box of cereal. Some pantries make you fill out forms to qualify, others just give you free food once a month. Here's a sample:

The Food Pantry
Homeward Bound Holiness Church
(open to anyone, no screening)
1622 McPeak Drive
Christiansburg, VA
(Plum Creek/Rt. 11)
731-1797
2nd Wednesday/Monthly
10:30-5:30

When you go to the pantry, it pays to show up early, as soon as they open. later in the day, they may run out of things.

It's usually not enough food for all month, because without a cooler, you have to eat up the fresh stuff quickly. But if you get a metal tin at the thrift shop
(and college towns often have good thrift shops) you can make the cereal last by storing it, while you use up more perishable foods first. And the weeks you have pantry food, your found coins can go for laundry or be saved for bus fare for bad weather days, or to get a wool sweater at the thrift store.
Wool keeps you much warmer than cotton.

Also, many thrift stores will have bag sale days when prices are even lower than usual, so watch for that.

Wishing you all safety and survival, Murrday

 
At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Murrday said...

Apologies about the repeat part - the Google form said it would not all send at one time, but looks like it does, even so. I'll know for next time, Murrday

 
At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Scott McLean said...

I can say that I agree with burdens of possessions weigh us down. (simplicity is light and valuable.) Ive started a family with nothing and gained a great life by working my way up in the professional world in order to provide the few things to make us happy. a blind-siding divorce, losing my job, destroyed credit, left me in ruins, mentally and financially. I tried so hard to start over.. but had lost all faith. Ive since re-married, on child two.. and niether my new wife or I can seem to get over the hump. "running in mud" Some problems in society are created by the fact that people wont commit to local issues.. and run. to me a cop out. My wife and I would love to have some land and be self sufficient, and non dependent on govt. but that my friend takes money. Choosing to be homeless is fine.. when you are not trying to support children and family. Being House-less and home-less (not the same.) Lets stand together to try and fix the issues at hand.. so we dont "HAVE" to be Home-less, House-less.

 
At 10:32 PM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

I'm not at all sure what you are trying to say, Scott. I can understand the concern about how to handle homelessness with a family. There are a whole lot of problems that my advice in this blog does not address, and the problem of a family man is high on the list. Since forming my own family I have remained among the housed, so I don't have direct knowledge of how to tackle the problems facing a family on the road. The chief problem, I imagine, is the extra-legal status of the homeless would make you vulnerable to losing your children to child "protective" services. The problem of getting kids enrolled in school without a geographical locus cannot be solved by a UPS mailbox. These problems are serious, but they are not the problems I have experience with.

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right! I was homeless when I was in my 20''s, used to squat vacant houses and hop freights. I learned a lot about the world and myself as well. I now live in Minneapolis married to a wonderful lady. By the way, this NOT a city you want to be homeless in during the winter. May I suggest two books that will help anyone who happens to be homeless:

Living Well on Practically Nothing

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Well-Practically-Nothing-Revised/dp/1581602820/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Dwelling Portably

http://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/2336/

 
At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

February 16, 2011

My family supposedly SAVED me from going mobile after losing my job. And I’ve been living in hell as a result.

The first branch said “come here! You won’t have to worry about a thing until you get a job.” Their unspoken assumption was that I would have a job within a month. So after several months passed, they dubbed me as a “freeloader,” even though I was paying for myself, and had never asked for anything!

I immediately decided to vacate the premises, when the second branch said “wow, they are awful, come live with us, and you can have (long list of stuff). So I did, only to find out that in addition to treating you like a beggar, branch #2 DOES NOT COMMUNICATE. They know nothing about managing expectations. Living here has been like walking through a field of land mines. And attempting to open communication only gets you verbally attacked!

So after all of this emotional abuse, and now that the snow is finally melting out of the way, I will be going mobile, and am thankful that I have no more family to “save” me.

I am very grateful to this blog creator, and the many contributors. I have gathered much useful information, and do not feel so alone.

 
At 9:17 PM, Anonymous hippie said...

March 20, 2011 ( putting in the date helps to let folks know that this blog is alive)

Hanging out college libraries is a good idea if you are in your 20's or early 30's. If you are older, choose a community college where they have older students and you fit in better. If you can enroll in a community college (take 1 unit or 1/2 unit gym class) on the cheap like it is in California, it is worth doing it. Now you are legit, you can use the gym showers legally. If you sneak in illegally, you won't feel as at ease and you always be on the look out. Keeping clean helps you fit into the college environment.

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Annie said...

Hi,
Just found this blog. When I was pregnant with my first kid I was homeless for a time and slept in my car. It was safer than staying friends, cause I always seemed to get robbed in my sleep. :(

Not too long ago I decided to relocate. To find a place without rushing I moved in with my cousin for about a month. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I was officially considered homeless by govt. agencies even though I had a place to stay, just because I was no longer the head of my household. What a rude awakening!

Honestly, if it were not for my youngest daughter, I would get a small RV and stay homeless. There is a LOT less hassle when all you have with you is everything you own!

Peace,
Annie

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should do a city by city guide to surviving on the streets. It should include the following:

1. Best places to sleep.
2. Best ways to earn money - temp agencies that pay daily.
3. Cheap storage facilities.
4. Cheap gyms that don't require a contract.
5. Cheap places to receive mail.
6. Best prepaid cell phone plans.
7. Free WiFi - for those lucky enough to have a computer of some kind or an iPod Touch.
8. Free and/or cheap food.
9. Free showers.

For those who get jobs, cheap housing options.

This is just a starting point. A list like this would be a great help to many people.

 
At 5:20 PM, Blogger Mobile Homemaker said...

I'm not sure Fodor's is willing to devote the kind of coin necessary to cater city by city to the homeless market. Student travel guides sometimes have that kind of info, but more important is to know how to get the lay of the land quickly for yourself. That's what I'm writing here, a guide to anywhere for anyone who wants to live well while homeless.

The key is to know how to crack the city yourself. Guides go out of date fast.

 
At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

September 6, 2011. Maureen here. Fortyish Female going homeless in my van starting tonite. Thanks for this great site. It's very helpful and interesting....sometimes depressing.

I am choosing homelessness before it chooses me. I'm going to try to keep up a blog...Here's what I have so far. http://livinginmyvan.com/

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew a man who watched Kabul burn from the back of his father's Toyota Hilux as they escaped the city when the Soviets invaded. He applied for and got citizenship here in America. He told me that he spent 5 years sleeping on various friend's couches while saving and going to college. He now owns/ frachises a pizza shop. Wealthy? no. But he does live here.

 
At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my name is jon and i reacently left active duty army because i can no longer stay on my feet for a long abount of time due to being a wounded veteran. I bevame homeless immediatly after i left the army and moved to the mountians of PA. Yes i work everyday and i have very good survival skills so i make it and the only thing i pay for is personal hygine items and gas to put in my vehicle. The only thing that bothers me is that i got charged with being homeless after the leaves fell forthe winter and my hut made out of trees branches mud and sticks. I spent two days in jail and they took a backhoe and drstoyed my home.i am now looking for a new spot to make my shack. Morl of my story is that anyone can make it without spending a penny. I can give anyone survival tips and sugestions all you have to do is ask and i will help ANYONE out

 
At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jan 29, 2012

Almost homeless here too. 50s and will soon be on the street with my teenage son, here in Norther Colorado. Thanks for the tips, we'll stay in our truck I guess, until things get better.

I especially enjoyed the post about staying positive....it's important to remember the good things in life, being alive for one and able to rebound...I hope.

Life is for the living, I will try to remember that this is an adventure....although I hope it isn't for too long....Thanks for the tips :)

 
At 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the previous post of 1/29: you could not have picked a better site. I would recommend that you read all of the entries, esp. those about day to day living and what to expect. You seem to have a good attitude and that's the key right there. Do Be Aware. Con artists and just all-around baddies do seem to be out there so don't open yourself up too much at first. I'm sure a man of your years does not need much advice in this direction but let me reaffirm that vigilance is a necessary part of homeless living. I am sure you and your son are a good team and will resolve any difficulties you may encounter. Good luck to you, and to Mobile Homemaker, Thanks again!

 
At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think it can't happen to you. You own a home, pay your bills and mind your own business. Then some ENEMY calls the "authorities" on a charge of "child endangerment" which means you get invaded, there is no defense against that invasion, they are coming in. First they find out your children are OK. But they look around and start cataloging ANYTHING else they can hit you with.

In my case it was six disabled people in a mobile home, with a cancerous wife, who worked when she could.And three disabled kids who were much better at making messes than cleaning them up. Housekeeping. Add to housekeeping, a broken water Pipe on Christmas morning, and a shorted out circuit from the water. This all the day AFTER Christmas. In a mobile home water and floors don't mix. Wet floors means COLLAPSE. So I am dealing with wet floors, a collapse, and half the electricity out in a home which needs a maid badly. The Child Protection people leave, BUT they call the Health inspector who comes out that afternoon, thinks I am overwhelmed, and RED TAGS The HOUSE. Then they say I have 24 hours to vacate the children or I lose them.

It can happen to you too.

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Lanisia said...

05/03/012

I'm a gypsy. Okay, so not quite. In the last 7 years I have been without a job for maybe a week, and in truth I had applied at a job on a Friday, quit the one that I was working that Saturday as well as getting a call for an interview for the job that I had applied at the day before. So, no, I am not a bum who refuses to work. I have lived with my aunt after getting screwed by a roommate last year, then fell in love with a wonderful man. Due to my not being there as much, though I did pay rent just to sleep on a couch, she decided that her house was not a storage area and that I should leave. Fine, I had bought a sailboat and lived aboard her for a couple of months before I had to sell her. I lived in an RV that I had bought for a while, and yes, he does have a home. When he and I broke up for about a day-a week, I moved back in with my aunt. We got back together, and are getting married in late June. My aunt has decided that since I have left a few clothes on the floor of the living room (where I sleep) and she found bedbugs in my sheets and blankets (though she had had that problem before), that if I don't fix it by the end of May, then she is going to ask that I leave. I happen to enjoy owning a truck, I will not live with my fiancee until we are married (some values are worth keeping), and since I have no intention of bowing to anyone much less remaining in an unstable home, I have decided to get back to being a gypsy. Is it worth the trouble to have to struggle to pay for a mobile home for a month and a half or a motel room for the same time when you earn minimum wage? What better way to live than with the wind beneath your wings lifting you up? What better way to live than to follow your own rules and not those that society dictates that you follow?

 
At 4:17 AM, Blogger AsianGypseh (the food lover) said...

One of the things I noted in my vehicle dwelling is how MORE stable my finances actually became. Because of my low overhead but same income, I have actually lasted 5 months without anything substantial coming in on savings alone.

My coworkers in their apartments will be out on the street within a month or two because I know they live from paycheck to paycheck.

What a lot of people don't understand is stability in the sense they understand it, is largely an illusion. A lot of people are just one illness or misfortune away from getting financially ruined.

 
At 4:30 AM, Blogger AsianGypseh (the food lover) said...

Some of us who are houseless, are not homeless. We live in our vehicles. More than that, instead of waiting to run out of money, I actually pulled the trigger early and left my apartment way before my savings ran out. This ensured me a good buffer fund and a good place to start off a new life with.

I now espouse the mentality of planning ahead and beating your own financial setback to the punch by slashing all your expenses so your job earnings can pile up into a neat stack.

Going homeless just as you run out of money is the wrong way to approach it.

If at all possible, you must approach this from a position of strength. This means beating the creditors and landlords and not allowing them to sap your savings further. Screw the credit score, it's never gonna be good enough for them, anyway. They will almost always deny your loan applications so what's the point? If you see trouble ahead in a few months, don't wait. You can always rebuild when you do get that cushy job. This is about survival.

If it's between them and you, choose YOU!

 
At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On April 1st 2011 y wife kicked me out of the house and divorced me. I had a $100,000 job; but was laid off. I had one of the cars repossessed and I know live in the other one (2010 VW Tourage with a $785 payment). That was her last straw. I have not seen my 4 year old daughter since.

Facts: I had a multi-million dollar business, was on the cover of fortune mag,and have an MBA. When she kicked me out I thought I would just get another $100,000 sales job and be ok. It did not happen. I have paid for my car with 10 different jobs or paychecks!

I was lucky to have nice clothes so I can get interviews. But "I know" my situation. I recently found a good $100,000 sales job; but now I have to incorporate and get a bank account and I have shot credit.

It is always something; however, the more you keep pushing forward, things tend to get better. I belong to 24-hour super sport and wash there and work on computer at starbucks until night time. I park in 24-hour fitness parking lot. They cant kick me out; i am a memeber!

I think what I have learned is that " I am not my things"; I need to be more grateful for what I have. If I do this; when I get back on my feet - I will be a much better person, ready to help others.

I live on protein powder that I buy at 24 hour fitness and have a good sales job. But,something always seems to happen and screw it up. I am hoping this will stick.

I want everyone out there to understand this is all a test. its how you react to your circusmstances that will free you; not lamenting over the bad circumstances. stay strong!

 
At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ModestMike and others

Just found this and wanted to add, my wife left me, I'm unemployment 3 years now in Michigan, the VA won't give me the time of day and they consider me homeless.

I don't want to give up, but no vehicle no money and no one to help me, doesn't leave many options. The government calls returning vets a potential threat, my family dont understand and are clueless. Friends before deploying are not after deploying. Employers won't call back once they know I'm a veteran and over all I have nothing left to lose but my life.

Seeing as that has hit rock bottom, my life is basically over since I don't have one...

Never would have imagined an Honorable discharge and no disabilities would land me in such a predicament. Often I wish it was me that died in Iraq, instead of someone who had more to live for...

Now months go by and no one misses me while I am here, obviously they won't when I'm gone.

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous GZ said...

hello im 19 and im about to be homless i lost my job and cant pay rent i dont have anybodey to support me i just came in usa 2 years ego im alone in this country im ligal alien but not a citisen of usa any organization can help me trough this?

 
At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear ModestMike - You're NOT alone!!! I'm 56, a gimp (thanks to 6 cancer surgeries), lost my job. I was always an independent-mobile soul. I raised 4 kids by myself...(Left an abusive husband - AFTER I had him arrested!!) I SHOULD have seen it coming ...but I was proud - so I let him be a daddy-nanny and stay at home and watch the youngest. While I worked 2 FT jobs. All I was -was 4 paychecks a month!!!
my eldest son needed a car - (for a good job) so there went my car.
My family dosen't come-out and say it - but I'd been better-off IF I DIDN'T GET CANCER!!! We're poor, we're poor!!! And, I THINK to myself - I FOUGHT cancer - for this? Now, its getting cold- and I have to get a car to survive this Chicago winter, with my beagle-boy. I will leave these caustic-thinking family members behind - with all the furniture I paid for, the apt. security...Me, and my best friend - just might see ya .....
BTW - I'm LaurelClaire

 
At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the most hopeful blog I've ever read. Homelessness isn't something I want to consider but it's looking like the thing to do. I'm 19 and at a loss. I can't afford school thanks to the brilliant Canadian student loan system, and frankly.. I have no idea what I would want to take. The best degree will lead me into debt and a minimum wage job.
I know that lots of people may read this as childish ignorance-- particularly when I say that I cannot turn to my family. But I've watched them fall into debt and stress to the point of poor health. All over money and obligation to take care of my other siblings. And I WILL NOT add to their troubles. In a backwards sense, I want the best for my parents. I want them to know retirement and good health.
I did try to turn to my twin in all of this but she's busy living the high life. She actually cried when she heard I was considering moving to the city she lives in because that's where I could potentially get a job. .. Then to boot, my entire network of friends and family discouraged me from taking the opportunity because they sympathized with my sisters plight. The poor girl is just trying to find her independence. How cruel am I to take that opportunity away from her.. My pride is sore. But I suppose this is the first step. isn't it.
Lovely story telling takes place in these comments. In any case,fine sir, you are changing lives with this blog. Thank you for the hope.
A wise woman told me once that hope is the only thing we're entitled to. Endless hope.
Perhaps you would understand.

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 48 my wife is 50 we have no family here

 
At 9:47 PM, Blogger Ray Andrade said...

Its been 4 month now that i lost my home and workmans comp. It my 21year old son two Siberian huskies and myself. When i get a small amount we get a hotel room or sleep with at a family members home. Its been very hard on a few times especially seeing my son sad. There is a few times i have been down and he will get me happy by saying some funny jokes or gettting our dogs and us to take long walk. One thing i learned is the materialistic dont matter to me just kepping us together is all that matters.tonight is our last night again in our motel 6 room by morning we will be in our car with very little gas and see what our next adventure will be. Im very happy right reading these cool blogs and knowing that im with my son that i love and he knowd it and the 2 cooliest Siberian huskies that i know. Peace and love to you all.

 
At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know from my experiences that there is strength in numbers.
Many people live as a predatory animal. Predatory animals seek to separate their target from the 'group'. These predatory animals see anyone who appears to be alone or struggling as a potential target.
I am writing this based on my personal experience of being the 'target'.
For me, it is a simple matter of finding others who understand my needs (if they have experienced the same,) then so much the better, and then forming a network or society, Simply put a 'family'. A new family for me.
Everyone has something to offer.
Comments are very welcome.

 
At 1:25 AM, Blogger cody claeys said...

I've been homeless and with no assistance for 3+ years fresh out of high school. No family. No friends. And I get chased out of every place I try to stay by the cops. Adding to the stress. No one wants to help or cares cuz its not their problem. N try getting a job when u can't even do simple shit like shower, wash ur clothes, cut ur hair, shave, ppl look at u like I've done something wrong jus adding to the insult. Then if u have the slightest record its even worse. Plus living outside gives no security and exposes u to desiese and extreme wether. It takes all ur energy just to find a place to be comfortable. If u do get a job that actually pays enough to dig u out of the situation ( not likely if u have no specific trade) u still have to deal with all that shit save every penny and starve yourself of everything every other human takes for granted. And hope u might eventually make it to the point where u can crawl up in ur own something and relax for five fukin seconds. The odds are against the homeless and no one really cares. N now its next to impossible to get a real job in this economy on top of all this. So mostly its a lot of sitting around wondering if tomorrow is the day ill die or if ur willing to risk doing something illegal that u don't want to and ending up in jail with shifty ppl n shitty cops who don't care if u live or die. If u become homeless and have no friends or family, no resources like a car, phone, income, u gotta do whatever desperate imbarresing act u hafto to keep from fukin dying and avoid goin to jail for it. Its the biggest fukin insult to life just as tramatic as anything and could kill neone and definatly ruins innocent lives and destroys decent ppl who never asked for it and tried every thing to avoid, stop, and change it. N that's everyday for my 23 yo ass. Future gone. Things getting worse. State wants money I don't have. No resources. Facing Grimm fukin death. Stole everything I have to survive. Got a record. Not gettin ne better n not gonna Cath a break. Bout to loose my food stamps n ill Rollin starve. And its winter so ill prolli freeze to fukin death. N despite all my overwhelming effort can't cath a break to change my fate.

 

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