How To Survive Being Homeless In America

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posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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Was reading This Thread and I realized that homelessness is only going to grow. Thus we should have a place to discuss strategies for surviving and thriving without a home.
I was homeless for over two years after my divorce. She got my house while I got all of the bills plus child support. I had already gotten laid off when my position as a junior engineer got shipped to China(thanks Clinton/Bush/etc...). I had a couple of things in my favor. I had a paid off conversion van and my BOB/camping gear. At first, I looked for a job. This was early 2008. There were no jobs. I tripped onto Craig'slist. There I found all kinds of people willing to pay CASH to get things done. I put i water heaters, ceiling fans, I fixed dental equipment, I drove cars purchased at auction. No day was the same. I paid off all of the bills my ex left me with and kept myself fed and out of jail. That took a year. The second year, I rebuilt my savings and tried to "re-invent myself".
Over the next few posts I will discuss what I learned and how I lived for over 2 years as a homeless person. If you can see it coming and plan for it, it can be a very interesting experience.




posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 


Look forward to your posts concerning your personal experiences...

Sounds fascinating.

Good thread idea!



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 


Very nice thread! I did not know about Craigs list! It is something I will try right now! HA! Maybe there is something for me there too!

Other than that, I will wait for you to finish sharing and I will see what I can add that may be helpful!



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 
happy you was able to bounce back,sorry for the wife you married,must be a bummer to have to lose your house and pay child support for while she sits back with some other dude.woman are evil.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 03:36 PM
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Sorry it took so long to get back, I got hit with allot of PM's.

Anyway, my first 2 weeks after my wife and I separated I did the cheap motel thing. Those places were dirty, bug infested and crime ridden. After a few days of no sleep, I found a shade tree and slept all day. Now that was April, in central Florida. I was drenched in sweat and the bed in the back of my van was literally sodden with sweat. I went to a friends house and borrowed her steam cleaner which left my seats wet overnight. I couch surfed at her house, then went from friend to friend over the period of a couple weeks. They were willing to help, but they were married and/or had kids. Usually the wives, and especially the husbands of my friends got tired of me being there real quick. Finally I realized that I could not live long like that. I needed a plan. Planning and research is "what I do".
My first stop was home depot. I bought a small roll of screen and some velcro tape. I put the tape around my windows and then used the other side to hold the screens on at night.

My partner is here. Gotta go back to work for awhile. More later.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:00 PM
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Great topic and something everyone should be thinking about especially with the state of things - It could happen to anyone.
I will be following this thread but wanted to say that I'm glad you have been able to 'bounce back' as it were and also to say that I currently live in south-central FL and spent a few days this past July without electricity and so can sympathize to a certain degree.
Heat can be just as dangerous as the cold and in someways can be worse as it is harder to cool off in certain situations than it is to warm up.
Again, a very timely topic indeed.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by LastProphet527
 


Not all women are 'evil'. And just as many men are 'evil' as are women. This is why we should choose well who we decide to marry!



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 04:43 PM
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Originally posted by OpinionatedB
reply to post by LastProphet527
 


Not all women are 'evil'. And just as many men are 'evil' as are women. This is why we should choose well who we decide to marry!

True
2ND LINE



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 06:31 PM
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I have a similar/different story.
I am a female and my ex owned the house before we met so he got it when we split. We traveled 8 months of the year for his job, together. When we split, I hadnt worked in 8 years.

I had been a bartender previously, so finding a job wasnt too hard. I rented a place and for 2 years, did well.
I do leatherwork as a hobby and would go to Mt Man Rendezvous, various pow wows each year and sell my leatherwork. I have a large tipi that I would set up shop in at those events.
I bought a 30 ft RV for the sole reason of needing a vehicle to haul my 27 ft tipi poles to and from each event. I bought the RV on ebay for $2500, flew to where it was and drove it home 800 miles, no problems!

After having the RV for a few months, I wondered why I was paying $950 mo rent, when my RV was fully self contained. Even has a good sized bathtub! But I stayed at my place and kept doing what I'd been doing for the past 2 years.
A few months later, I took vacation for 2 weeks and when I came back, the business I'd worked for had been sold, was closed for renovation, and it became apparent that I would likely not be re-hired. At the same time, my ex had moved his new gf into my old house, and I started feeling the small town getting even smaller...

With no other real responsibilities other than my dog, I decided to try full-timing in my RV.

That was 3 years ago. I am still living in my RV

In the past 3 years, I have...
- Worked seasonally at 2 RV parks
- Worked at a Cafe (right out of a Stephen King novel) in the middle of nowhere, in lieu of repairs/RV spot with a full hook-up, small stipend and all meals included
- Worked a festival circuit for a year selling things I had crafted (I ran out of things to sell)
- Parked in a friend's driveway in downtown Phoenix for several months and did nothing but try to get my ducks in a row to GTH outta the city
- Cleaned up some old (over a decade) legal stuff I'd managed to avoid, while visiting my sister
- Made a little $ here and there doing internet content writing, some of which I still get residual income for from time to time

Currently, for the past year, I have been looking after an older man who has health problems and would not be able to live here on his very remote 160 acre ranch without someone here to help him.
I take him to his Dr appts in the nearest town which is 50+ miles away, do his shopping, his laundry, hire help when work needs to be done. (it isnt a working ranch...more his sanctuary) and whatever other small things I can help with.

In return, I pay no rent, have no bills, I buy my own food, propane and gas with the small sum he pays me. But I am already living in a most awesome bug out location, I have an awesome garden, 8 chickens 2 goats and several horses. My only neighbors (other than my employer) are deer, elk, screech and great horned owls...lots of hawks, falcons etc...There is a rancher that lives about 5 miles away. I dont plan on leaving any time soon.

In my opinion, anyone can live happily with less. You simply choose to live more simply.

I have found a way to make it work for me. So can you!

Peace

edit on 4-9-2012 by Elostone because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:18 PM
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After screening my van, my next concern was staying clean. The county I live in has rec centers and 1 membership fee gave access to all of them. Showers, exercise equipment, and internet access all included. The pool was extra, but as an ex-diver swimming is a must for me. I spent a few weeks bumming around various wal-marts until I found the "perfect" one. Lots of shade trees. A Panera bread, a McDonalds, and a Starbucks, all with free wifi right in the same parking lot. I would pull in around 10 pm, and out by 6 am unless I was planning to hang at the Panera that day. I would still move my van in the morning and put it under the best shade tree for afternoon coverage. The morning sun would recharge my fan batteries.
Eventually I started getting low on money, and had no luck finding a job. I fugured I could save some money by buying a bicycle. I googled "cheap used bicycles" and ended up on Craig'slist. This turned things around for me. I found all kinds of gigs there. Some were scams, some were cheapskates, but many were just good people trying to save money but still willing to pay a decent wage for a fair job done right. I did all kinds of stuff. I placed "bandit signs", painted rental properties, mowed lawns, did brake jobs, installed faucet washers and tank to bowl gaskets(the plumbers wanted to sell them a whole new toilet), cleaned a/c drain lines, bagged cosmetics, power washed buildings and driveways. You get the picture. There were no jobs, but there was/is plenty of WORK. I just had to get out of the job mindset. That was the best thing that happened to me since the birth of my kids.

Continued tomorrow.
edit on 4-9-2012 by DarthMuerte because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:19 PM
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reply to post by Elostone
 
Good story! People have to learn to think and act outside of the box society puts us in.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:32 PM
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I bought a old 1987 30 foot motor home for $4000 with only 29000 miles om it.
Saturday i moved to a RV and it took me only 2 hours.

In a couple weeks i will have a check for the sale of the place i use to live and that will give me some money in the bank for my retirement plus my $1000 a month disability check.
Early next year a plan to move back to northern calif and at the age of 62 go back to collage.(boredom is H**L)
Going full time on a pell grant i can get 2,775 dollars per semester and park rent rate for my motor home is only about $275 to 300 a month.

Back in 2004-5 i took a machinist course and next i plan to go to gunsmiths school for 4 semester and that will only take up 6 semesters of pell grants and you can use up to 18 semesters.

If you are out of work find any way you can to go back to school. if employers see that you were going back to school instead of just setting at home looking for work they will be more likely to hire you.

You can never have to many trades since i left high school i have been.
in the navy as a electrician mate
Worked as a welder
Industrial construction electrician,(up to foreman level)
A federal security officer.(while taking collage under the old GI bill)
A underground and surface gold miner(up to mine superintendent level
Diesel and heavy equipment mechanic
Generator mechanic,(both electrical and driver side)
Chemical plant operations technician
Manual machinist.
Industrial firefighter/EMT

And my last job as mine superintendent i also was the fill in for of the trades above as needed at the mine.
never let had employees try to BS me as i had worked all there jobs and they found out first hand.

.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by DarthMuerte
. There were no jobs, but there was/is plenty of WORK. I just had to get out of the job mindset.

Continued tomorrow.
edit on 4-9-2012 by DarthMuerte because: (no reason given)


This is an incredibly simple, but powerful statement.
A survivor's statement!



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 


my x took the house and car i was on the street very homeless but very bill free,lol
theres bread lines & lots of people in the same boat.

im dept free & back on my feet did i say dept free,it helps starting at the bottom..

she lost the house,haha
im liveing happyer ever after .......Dept free, hehehe



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by madenusa
 

I agree. I am debt free now. I don't use credit at all anymore. I have to go back to using banks though. My new business requires the ability to receive credit/debit payments. I will keep very little money in there though. I buy junk silver weekly. I really expect silver to explode soon.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by ANNED
 


I will say that downsizing to an RV...you must be organized!
Nothing comes into my MH unless it has dual purpose/function and I already have a space for it to call it's home.
Space management becomes a HUGE priority.
I have often thought in the past 3 yrs that RV living could possibly be a form of therapy for hoarders! lol



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:43 PM
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reply to post by Elostone
 


Try living in a conversion van for two years. A hoarder would be catatonic.



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 


I too am debt free

I no longer have a bank acct...I hate and mistrust them utterly. However...
Because I live so far from any services, I have a prepaid reloadable Visa card...it is in my dog's name lol
I use it to purchase items online. I never have more than $1k in it at any time unless I am making a large purchase...I must drive 120 miles to reload it, which gives me plenty of time to rethink my purchase



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by LastProphet527

Originally posted by OpinionatedB
reply to post by LastProphet527
 


Not all women are 'evil'. And just as many men are 'evil' as are women. This is why we should choose well who we decide to marry!

True
2ND LINE


Did you bop you're old lady?

Tell it true now.
edit on 4-9-2012 by LilDudeissocool because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2012 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 


Im thinking Tent City..with others in same situation. Combine resources of transportation to work..join a gym near work and take showers there. I have been attempting to get low-income housing for me and my children. I was over the limit by 2,000 because of all the overtime I work. I thought they would just count my base pay and regular hours. I am having to live with my boyfriend but see no future of marriage. My 17 year old wanted to live with his friend- so I pay all of his bills so he is happy..even though I am miserable without my baby bear!! My oldest 25 has taken off with his girlfriend to Nashville, TN attempting to make it in the music business. He told me that he had to atleast go after what he wanted in life!! He said he could not continue working in a mill the rest of his life!! I told him to go after his Dream!! He and his girlfriend are doing fine!

I am all my youngest has..he is no-where ready to stand on his own..It may come down to me moving in with him and his friend. I got into the relationship I am in because I thought we would marry and all live like a happy family. I have been with the same man for 4 years and we are still not married. Basically, I am just like a Teddy Bear to him to sleep with at night..just someone he is comfortable with. The relationship is not going forward, and this upsets me. I am just not happy anymore. I thought I would have Low-Income housing by this November..but I didnt qualify because I made 22,000 a year. I make 11.00 an hour working as a CNA..regular hours are 37 1/2 a week. I usually work 50 a week if they will allow me to do so.

MY boyfriend use to work 3 days a week and make 750.00 a week..he worked for a company that was thinking about closing down..he had worked for them for 23 years. He heard that a job opening had came open with the City and he now works 5 days a week and only brings home 278.00 a week. His mother payed off his home and he is content with how his life is..even though we are going without basic needs. We are very low on Food..and my Transmission just went out on my Jeep Wrangler..My boyfriend has 2 cars that will not work..one old truck that does work..but the brakes are bad..and if I use it..it will cost me 20.00 a day in gas to and from work..my boyfriend also has 2 motorcycles...He allowed me to drive his old truck to work yesterday..I had to spend what I had left to last until next Friday to live on for Gas for the Truck..and Food to feed me, him and his 20 year old son that will not work.

My boyfriend and his son refuse to get along with my youngest son..my youngest son is everything to me!! Anyway, my boyfriend did not offer me any solutions about fixing my jeep..or coming up with the cash to do so..I felt so alone!! I did nothing but cry today wondering if I could find a way..I finally called my bank and spoke with a man that is an Angel..he told me to take the Jeep and find out how much it would cost to fix..and he would add it on to my loan...The total cost of my jeep..11,000...I owe 7,000..and the cost to fix..3,600...

The Jeep Dealership sold me a defective Jeep..and basically want do anything until the bank sends them the check..they treated me like I was such a poor person and like some kind of lower class..like they didnt believe the bank was going to help me..My bank guy called the Shelby Jeep Place and took care of the problem..

I need to atleast keep my Jeep up and running so that I can get to work everyday..and there may come a time when I myself am homeless..I have no family to run to..they do not care about me and my child..my boyfriend and his son will not get along with my youngest..this pisses me off..I am thinking about just leaving this man and moving in with my son and his friend..I wanted us to be a Family and work together..but I feel like even though I have some-where to stay..I am just sort-of here..I guess what I expected to hear from my boyfriend- I will help you in any kind of way that I can!!

Anyway, I will never allow my youngest to be without a HOME!! I may have to do the Tent Thing..who knows..all I do know is America is falling apart..and no-one should be without a HOME..NC
edit on 4-9-2012 by Apollo7 because: (no reason given)
edit on 4-9-2012 by Apollo7 because: (no reason given)


The main problem I have is the cost of Insurance to cover me and my youngest..320.00 a month..Healthcare Cost will be the downfall of our country.
edit on 4-9-2012 by Apollo7 because: added information





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