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Homeless Survival:101

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posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:11 PM
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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.

6) EAT!

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!




posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:24 PM
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So was there a happy ending to your struggles?



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:26 PM
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a reply to: SomeDumbBroad

Some great tips !

You've made a nice handy dandy little reference thread for folks who might be struggling.






3) Gym membership!Gym membership!Gym membership!


I'm not sure how it works in the US, but here in Canada you can join the YMCA or the YWCA for free.

Hot showers, workout gym areas, swimming pool, small jogging circuits, saunas, etc all for free public use !


Most community centers and public libraries are great places to hang out during the day as well (again offering free services to the public). Most of those places offer free internet access, various activities, and of course all the books to read that your little heart desires.



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:27 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Yes me...


To be honest she's a smart, very driven individual and nothing but admirable, SDB thank you for sharing and don't ever let them get you down, you got it going on, and your advice is good advice thanks good read.



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:29 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

YES! After a few months I was able to put back enough to get an apartment. A month after that I was able to start buying things I needed again. And now I have so much stuff it makes me nervous. I took a chance and stayed here to follow through with my new job. I couldnt stand leaving a job to move and rely on people until i could find one.



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:31 PM
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originally posted by: TechniXcality
a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Yes me...


lol oh lord



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:32 PM
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a reply to: CranialSponge

Yes! YMCA! We don't have one here in my town. Totally an amazing place!



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 09:32 PM
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originally posted by: SomeDumbBroad
YES! After a few months I was able to put back enough to get an apartment. A month after that I was able to start buying things I needed again. And now I have so much stuff it makes me nervous. I took a chance and stayed here to follow through with my new job. I couldnt stand leaving a job to move and rely on people until i could find one.


Well, good for you then. I like stories like these where people overcome adversity through their own hard work and dedication.



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 10:19 PM
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This is a great thread, thanks for starting it. I lived on the streets for many years and still have several friends who are homeless. There are a lot of reasons people become homeless; lost job, sudden bout of sickness, financial woes, and disabilities are the main reasons. Once on the streets and can become addictive in a way. If you've been homeless long enough you become accustomed to it. Sleeping in a bed, even indoors is strange and unnerving. Some prefer the streets as it is a means of escape from the life we live. There's no one to answer to, no 9 to 5 job, no bills to worry about, you can go wherever you please when you please, and there is a deep fellowship among the homeless that is not always easy to find. I struggled hard when I got back on my feet not to simply go back. It's a very, very hard life but can be very addictive.

Here are some of my suggestions:

Get to know the people on the streets. They will fill you in on important information. Learn what restaurants give out free meals. Find your local soup kitchens. Stay out of sight when you can. The worst thing to deal with is loitering charges. Of course, if you don't mind, you can always spend a night in jail. I new a guy who would get himself arrested on Friday, usually drunk in public, just to have a bed and three hot meals over the weekend. On Monday he'd go see the judge, please guilty and get time served. This is a us full trick on those hard cold nights. Do no, do not, DO NOT, tell anyone where you sleep. It's just a bad idea. Don't ask anyone where they sleep. Try not to ask too many personal questions and no pictures. There's plenty people on the streets who are bidding from someone or something. Always Cary a knife. Get yourself a bike and a good lock. A bike is the best mode of transportation and can get you out of trouble faster than running. If you don't have a car find a good place to stash your daily items so you don't have to Cary them. Learn urban camouflage. It's good to blend in. Don't be a pest. Sometimes it's necessary to panhandle but don't be an a$$ about it. Clean up after yourself. The quickest way to draw unwanted attention is to make mess where you camp. DO NOT sleep in a dumpster. You can wake up being crushed in a dump truck. Stay away from the trains. Train Dicks are still very much the same. If you don't loose a leg trying to jump a train you'll get your head bashed in by the Bulls. Get familiar with hiding places where you hang out. You may have to quickly disappear from sight. If you are hanging out with a group, remember, beer and smokes are appreciated. You may be expected to help panhandle to scrape up cash for beer. Don't accept anything unless you can repay the favour. It will be expected at times. When it's cold, loosen your shoelaces when you sleep. This will help with circulation and help keep you warm. If you get hurt, even a cut, get it treated. The smallest cuts can become infected easy. Wear a hat in the cold to conserve heat. When it's hot, stay out of the sun or wear something light that covers your skin. Keep your feet dry. It's easy for the skin to rot in wet climates. Don't make enemies. The last thing you want is to get in a tiff with someone who has a lot of friends. Snipes are not always worth it. You may be needing a smoke but a cig off the ground can mess you up. Keep your eyes and ears open. Learn the local ccalls. Many groups will have a way of letting others know where they're at. Learn what the local police cars sound like. You should be able to tell a cop car coming up behind you from a mile away. There's plenty more that will pop back in my head later. But most of all, be aware of your surroundings and use common sense.



posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 10:55 PM
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I was homeless for about three years and didn't find it humiliating. I am the victim of an extremely corrupt civilization.

There's no need to dumspter dive for any reason. Every city I wandered through has free places to eat, shower, do laundry and sleep. As well as some form of income assistance so you can buy clothes every once in a while.
You can't sit around many places without bring harassed though. Like if you lay in a park and drift off by accident people will call the police. If you sit around populated places for too long you'll be harassed. They may even arrest you and take you to hospitals and try to push drugs on you.

If you're bored you can save your assistance payments for a couple months and take a cheap flight to Central America and sleep under a palm tree at night.
Don't sleep around any populated place though. They sneak up on you and steal your stuff and in my case even shoes which I took off to air them out.



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 01:02 AM
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The most valuable piece of advice I gathered, and agree with, is to keep a sense of humor.
I've slept in abandoned buildings and barns. Lived in a cargo van and slept on an air mattress.
Slept in a tent in the woods for months.
In hindsight, it wasn't so bad.
I survived. Stayed warm and kept my belly full.
Life is good.



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 01:17 AM
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a reply to: SomeDumbBroad
Thanks for this thread. Being homeless is hard enough without knowing how to be safe and actually be able to fend for yourself. I've lived in my car before. It's not fun.

ETA: I'm glad that things worked out for you.
edit on 12-4-2016 by Skid Mark because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 02:42 AM
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a reply to: SomeDumbBroad

Thank you for this thread. I am not homeless but I'm unemployed and nearly 63 years old. We will survive for few more years yet.

I suspect the profets of doom will be proven right in the fullness of time but when I dont know. When that happens I dunno what we will do or where we will go but the suggestions and insights offered in this thread by those who have been there and done that are very appreciated.

thank you



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 04:32 AM
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Valuable insight. Good for you girl! I am not homeless but have been through some tough scrapes and know it's not easy.
I agree it's hard to show up at work in a presentable state and not let anyone know. In my case I was/am in college so had access to showers there- that's half the battle. My friends had no idea that I was struggling but If I had humbled myself and let them know things may have been easier. Anybody that has survived on the streets has my respect. Good tips for staying safe and taking care of yourself!



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 07:37 AM
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I lived in the woods with some "houseless" hippies for a spell. Some of the best times.
We bathed in a creek. Slept in tarp tents. There were many potlucks. And many hairy legs and armpits.



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 07:10 PM
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I am glad you guys liked this and thank you for sharing your own stories. Some of us have a harder time with it than others and we all feel the sting a bit different. to all of you beautiful humans... and other species lol



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 07:27 PM
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a reply to: SomeDumbBroad

There was a time about 40 years ago when I would never acquire more than could be comfortably fit in my 1963 Mercury Comet. I'd converted the back seat into a comfortable bed and installed a bar in the trunk for hanging clothes; not that I was a clotheshorse -- I wasn't by a long shot -- but I could store more clothes that way.

I was feeling sorry for myself until the car broke down. It broke down in Wilmington, California -- one of the few places close to the ocean where I could park without being rousted.

Thank you for the tips. Glad you clawed your way out. I know what that takes to grab a rung of the ladder and say to yourself, "this far and no lower."



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 07:40 PM
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originally posted by: argentus
a reply to: SomeDumbBroad

Thank you for the tips. Glad you clawed your way out. I know what that takes to grab a rung of the ladder and say to yourself, "this far and no lower."



I love that



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 09:48 PM
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a reply to: SomeDumbBroad

Thank you. ;o)

Sometimes just that silent oath has been enough to let me know that I'm moving forward. Really appreciate your thread.



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 09:57 PM
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a reply to: argentus

I appreciate all the support on this thread. You never know how much your situation has been experienced by others until you come out and say it.



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