Before I begin to answer your question I am going to share with you my experience of being homeless and how much information I gathered from other
homeless people. And yes I currently am homeless and have lost my ability to stay in two different homeless shelters.
To keep things fair I can not say where I currently reside. Using my profile information for my location is misleading. I am not even in the state
listed in my profile.
After getting evicted back on December 7th 2014 the first night was terrible. I had to spend over 200 dollars to put my stuff in storage. And I advise
anyone who is about to become homeless to do the same for several reasons. Unless you don't own anything more than 2 pairs of pants, a few shirts, 2
pairs of socks, underwear, and some snow gear to wear particularly during the winter AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE... Then don't get yourself a storage
unit. Get yourself a unit that allows 24 hour access. And remember don't sleep in there or you will ruin it for every homeless person.
If you have a smart phone... hide it every night. Never take anything into a homeless shelter that you seriously can not lose or break. I had my phone
stolen, and when I confronted the suspect? She threw it on the floor and said "# you."
If you have a wallet... sleep with it inside your underwear. It is the only way to ensure it doesn't fall out of anything.
For my first night I slept behind a defined fitness outside of the trash cement walls. Don't sleep anywhere inside those walls unless you know when
trash day is. Buy yourself 2 beanies, a face mask, scarf, gloves, and thick socks. Unless you do find a shelter. Luckily the next day I searched for a
homeless shelter on my phone after traviling on foot to the nearest mall to charge my phone. Definitely get yourself a bus pass. In fact if you know
you are going to be homeless you have to have at least 400 dollars. If you have to pan handle for money do so for only an hour at a time. And never
after 5 pm. Check with the city civic center for a panhandlers license. They will tell you where you are allowed to panhandle.
And believe it or not it is the worst place to try and pan handle. Basically no one ever likes seeing a homeless person. So expect the zones allowed
for panhandling to be close to county borders. And to look almost uninhabited.
If one person uses their cell phone to complain about your panhandling methods you automatically get a ticket and fine with a court date for
panhandling. Usually 200 dollars in the state where I am. All it takes is one call and everyone found near that intersection gets a ticket. I did and
I didn't do anything wrong except become homeless because the job I worked at had older people who were scared #less of losing their job so they kept
setting me up to fail. So I got fired over bs.
Back on shelters I can tell you what to expect. Expect to never get sleep. You seriously are put into a room with 39 other people. And if one gets
sick, everyone gets sick by the end of the week. Why? No walls. You have 1 security guard watching everyone overnight and sometimes they really don't
care about any one of you due to what other homeless people have done to them. Everyone is separated by gender. Men go to one facility and woemen go
to another. I had money taken out of my wallet, my socks stolen, one of my beanies went missing, and my snow pants disappeared. Don't bring anything
you can't lose to a homeless shelter.
Every morning we get kicked out at 5:30. You can leave earlier if you want to but the guard has to wake you up. You have to turn off cell phones but I
advise you to never have a phone inside. Once you are kicked out you must be taken by bus to where you want to go. So again a bus pass is a must. I
would suggest that you never let anyone see that you have a bus pass because mine got stolen. Thank goodness it was only a day pass.
Sometimes these facilities have busses to take you to get food. But don't expect much food from the places. Expect to get 1 16th of an orange or an
apple, 1 small sausage link cut in half, a piece of shredded bread smaller than your hand, and a styrofoam cup for coffee. You can get back in line
but you risk having one of the crazy homeless people getting on your back about it. If you miss the doors to get food by a minute too bad. Once you
have had your fill they want you to leave. At the mission I go to there are near a thousand people coming through. I counted around 650 before I gave
up on counting.
Once they kick you out of the mission it is 7:00. The next place and time to eat food is elsewhere, and is at 12:00 and it is the same meal you had at
Find a library to go to and you will find out every homeless person goes there. At every single store, shop, gas station, and mini mart they post up
that stupid sign. "Restrooms are for customers only."
If you have never been homeless yourself then you can't imagine what it is like to be broke, without a car, and you have to use the rest room.
Because some homeless people ruined it for everyone it makes it harder to get into a restroom. But I found out a trick that most of them use. And it
is a razor. They don't appear homeless but they are. Over 80% of homeless people don't look like the stereotypical homeless person. They don't. But
that stupid sign people put up because they don't like cleaning restrooms has made me give up on ever going to any store that has such a sign. I
remember having to walk about 1 mile and a half just to use a restroom at the library.
I say if your store has that sign "customers only" tear it down. Because public bathrooms are public bathrooms. Not customer bathrooms.
Homeless people are not allowed to re enter a homeless shelter until after 530 pm where I am. And curfew for this one is 9 pm. If you don't get there
by 9 pm you not only have to sleep outside, but you lose your bed. And no you are not allowed to sleep on the floor.
To make things worse trying to find work anywhere is almost impossible. And never at any point of your interview, or during any of your shifts if you
have a job, admit to being homeless. Not even to someone you think is very trustworthy. Because everyone's thoughts about you change at your job once
you do so. I don't get any shifts now because they think I don't shower, I don't take care of myself, and they think I am stealing. Everything
sucks about being homeless with a part time job. I got transferred to another store because they didn't like me. And the other store is just as bad.
I got fired for something I didn't even do. They placed guilt on me by association. Seriously I did. So this new job I have I don't talk to anyone.
I just work.
When it comes to the people who are homeless... only about 15% percent of them ever fit the stereotypical profile that people say about homeless
people. 15%. Remember, I am homeless and I don't fit that profile people make up about us.
The ones that you do encounter are the ones who have tried everything, or are fed up with the way the world works. The drunk homeless person who gets
in your face is the one who thinks he is better off dead. And wants to die. The ones who steal have been jobless for more than 6 months and have
become used to it. But they haven't eaten for more than a week.
Since no one ever donates any of their left overs, over stocked bread, or even soup homeless people have nothing to eat.
So never stop caring.