posted on May, 5 2008 @ 08:56 PM
I’ve been homeless twice. Well, three times actually, but I don’t count the middle one since it was only for a month or so in the Summer.
I was nineteen the first time. I was living at home with my mother and brother. After my parents divorced, things had gotten really bad. We went
without heat a lot of the time, and exchanged canned goods at Christmas time. Part of the roof caved in, and the back wall of my bedroom turned into a
sheet of ice. We had no car, there was no public transportation in the suburb, and social services only awarded us $32 a month in foodstamps. I had
been going to college and working, but when our car went, that was the end of the line. Well, the real end came that Spring when my father sold the
house at a 50% loss.
I did the street thing for a bit, until I found an old pop-up camper out in a field. There were people around, but like the OP said, the trick is to
remain unobtrusive if you don’t want to be robbed, attacked, or just run off. It didn’t hurt that there was a homeless camp not too far away that
attracted more attention. I did not associate with any of them. Most people never knew I was homeless, even though my job was collecting nickels. I
also got some work from a landscaper, but if he didn’t come around by ten A.M., that usually meant that he would be spending his day and whatever
money he had at OTB. So I would be on my way. There were a few people who I would talk to who might give me a “hook up” here and there. A burger
maybe. One girl at the supermarket used to slide an item or two down the belt that didn’t show up on the receipt.
Winter got rough. Shelters really are bad news. A lot of nights I would lock myself into one of the men’s room stalls at the all-night supermarket,
and sleep a few hours sitting there on the toilet. During the day I went to the library a lot. One thing to keep in mind too, is that people don’t
usually think twice if they happen to see you asleep somewhere during the day. At night, they will know you are homeless and give you trouble.
Anyway, long story short, I did end up finally getting into an apartment that Winter. A girl I had known from high-school had been kicked out of her
house and had a little bit of money and a job. I had more money, and found a job working at a gas station within a few weeks of moving in. It was a
nice bit of luck that the job happened to be on the far side of the parking lot from the apartment.
Within a year and a half, the relationship went bad. I was looking to get and stay out of trouble. I had done some things of an entrepreneurial
fashion to get by in high-school and wanted to let all of that lifestyle go. She wanted to get deeper into it. So again, long story short, I was
homeless once again. Only this time I had a couch to go to at least, and once again I got lucky enough to find a job in walking distance Especially
since my beat up old Cadillac coupe decided to die while I was moving out of the other place, leaving everything behind that wouldn’t fit in my
trunk in the fifteen minutes the police allowed me. I had paid for everything in the apartment pretty much. All of the furniture and what not. But she
got it all because of her superb acting skills and probably some other skills that I won’t elaborate further on. Oh well, I had no place to store
By this time, my brother had saved up some money and was looking to move out of his girlfriend’s basement. So we got an apartment together. That was
many years ago now.
As many of you may know already. I am homeless once again now. But that is for another post another time I think.