posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:11 PM
My situation is my own. This is in no way me giving you a fool proof plan to make it through your rough time. We all must find a way to cope and
survive. For me, survival is mainly attributed to humor. Every problem I face I find a way to make a joke, get a laugh, see the lighter side of
things. I do not do this to cheapen the problem but rather to make it easier to swallow, if only for myself. If you are struggling, please please
please reach out. Talk to someone. Being homeless is a deeply humiliating experience and may require therapy to cope with during or after or both. Do
not shut yourself away from human connection. I made that mistake and I firmly believe I had an exponentially tougher time because of it. On a super
serious note, I want you to know that whatever you are going through, homeless or not, you are special to someone and there are so many people who
care about you. You will get through this. You will survive and you WILL have an awesome new outlook on life when it is all said and done. Don't lose
sight of your end game.
Let the shenanigans begin.
I was an idiot. I was never good with money for reasons I would like to put the blame on my parents but at 27 I should have known better. I was a mess
emotionally, physically and financially. I had been diagnosed the previous year with several thyroid disorders, I lost my job, struggled to pay off
debt and had gotten notice of when i needed to be out of my place as the next tenors were ready to move in upon my departure. The only good news in 6
weeks was that I had gotten a job. The bad news is I still didn't have a place and only had 400 in my bank account. Thank the heavens I had a car. I
had bought a car for 1k back when I had a decent job and was in the process of trying to sell it. I am thankful every day that I didn't and I refuse
to give her up now. I'm gunna drive that thing til the wheels come off. Upon coming to the realization that I was going to be in a tight spot, I
turned to the internet to see what I could read from people who have already been where I was heading. The following is a breakdown of the things I
found most important and how they helped me.
1) DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON A BIGGER VEHICLE!!!
Some people suggest that you sell your car and use the money you have to buy a cheap van. The only upside to having a van is more space. That's it.
Getting a van will cost you more in gas and prolong your money issues. It will only put you further behind. If you need a place to store your things,
get a storage shed. Mine was 60 a month. I moved everything into it, left the things I would need access to in the front. Had my had my clothes in the
dresser at the opening so I could grab them and go and not have to keep them in my car. I came and went as I pleased. I didn't have to give away my
possessions for when I got back on my feet. Win win win.
2) Invest your money into things you will need to survive.
My job is customer service. Part of face to face interaction is looking presentable at all times. I invested in dry shampoos and baby wipes. Baby
wipes help if you are in a pickle and need to clean your tender areas to hold you over until you get a shower. Dry shampoos help your hair to look
like it's been freshly washed and free of grease. It's definitely a plus if you get called into work and you don't want to make it obvious that you
are struggling. My bout with homelessness was in the beginning strands of winter when it was dipping below 0 every couple of nights....aaaaaaaaaand my
driver's side window had been busted. After one paycheck I got it fixed but before that I was keeping warm by burying myself in layers of blankets.
Walmart has affordable super warm blankets. $20 each and if you layer enough of them you are guaranteed to sweat! Most of all, do not sacrifice your
phone. A phone is a tool to help you get on track. Businesses might need to get a hold of you and you can't work if they can't call.
3) Gym membership!Gym membership!Gym membership!
Also, invest in a gym membership! I was able to work out whenever I wanted (which came in handy because I battle insomnia among the many other
issues... I'm a hot mess, for sure) and also...SHOWERS! You can shower regularly and as long as you work out a little before, no one looks at you
like you're weird... and if they do, just know they would probably feel like an asshole for judging you if they knew what is really going on. You get
endorphins, hot water and a few hours to appear normal. Everyone there is focused on bettering themselves so you aren't so different there and it's
nice to be in a place where people don't notice you.
4) Know where the safe places are!
Do some research and figure out what is available for you. I had a car so I did my research on homeless shelters in my area so I would know as a back
up in case times decided to get even harder. There are excellent programs that can hook you up with a case worker who can help you out in your
recovery. These people are amazing and they truly want to help. Let them. If you have a car, find your safe places. I lived in the Walmart parking lot
for several reasons. A) people are always around. As a single woman alone in a car, I wanted to be somewhere I could call for help easily. I parked in
the employee area so people wouldn't get suspicious. Churches also may be comfortable with you living there. Just make sure you ask permission. B)
They were open 24 hours so if I needed to use the rest room, I could. C) It is legal to park overnight. That part is super important! Don't go
getting yourself in trouble with the law. You're already in a tight spot. Don't press your luck.
5) Make sure your car is legal.
Make sure you are registered and insured. If you are approached by law enforcement this will help so so so so so much. Politely tell the officer the
situation you are in, that it is temporary and you working to relocate to a physical address. Show them that you are a law abiding citizen down on
your luck and be humble. They are more understanding than you might think. If anything you may get a warning or a slap on the wrist. Do anything and
everything to remain calm and polite.
Although you aren't living in the lap of luxury, you should not cheat your body. You need it to help you out of this situation and you are no good to
yourself if you are malnourished. Food fuels the brain. You have plenty of options. Shop at the dollar store, find deals, don't buy in bulk and eat
as diversely as possible for what you can get. Canned anything is wonderful. I only had hot meals at work so everywhere else was canned food and the
occasional snack food. Don't load up on sweets and things your shouldn't be eating anyway but a chocolate bar here and there can be good for the
soul if you can swing it. Store your food in your trunk so you aren't wasting room.
7) Clean your car regularly.
You will be surprised at how much clutter happens when you live in your car. Make a habit to rid it of anything that isn't necessary as much as
possible! Cleaning will also give you a sense of pride and will be less embarrassing when you catch people glimpsing in on you.
I have a bunch more, but it looks like I am at my typing limit...... I'll leave with this. Love yourself the way you want someone else to love you
and take care. You make the world a better place just by being a better you! YOU GOT THIS!