I do volunteer work with the homeless in my area, stemming from my religious faith.
I have to say I don't share the OP's hope for the homeless if TSHTF.
1. When the "straights" feel threatened, the dominant society usually lashes out at vagrants first. Read over accounts of the Great Depression in
the USA, and you will see that most anti-homeless ordinances date from the early 30s--after the economy had bottomed out.
2. Most homeless people are profoundly dependent on local food pantries. The one where I volunteer has limited the amount any one person receives,
because so many "homed" persons are jobless and hungry, too. Without libraries and buses to warm themselves in during a snowstorm, without government
health clinics and halfway houses, a lot of them would have a hard time functioning. They do a lot of businesses with local convenience stores, and
pandhandle near highway onramps. Interrupting gasoline supplies would deprive them of a major source of begging.
3. A lot of homeless people have poor coping skills. Many of them qualify as ill-mannered. In good times, they get a ride downtown and a free meal
in the county lock-up for their minor misbehaviors. In bad times, they are apt to be beaten, enslaved, or lynched by local "security committees".
4. Homeless people depend on the largess of US society. Homeless people often dumpster-dive behind restaurants and grocery stores, eating the cold
pizza, the stale bread, and the shriveled vegetables. When the dominant population gets hungry enough, those things wont be thrown out any more, but
sold on the gray market. In other words, what used to be free, will now have a value. Think of it this way, if you see a penny lying in the gutter,
do you pick it up? You do when times are hard, and a homeless person does without. (I know a guy who checks every paybooth at automated parking
garages---most people wont get out of their cars to pick up a quarter).
Homeless people live here because we let them. Mussolini's Italy had no homeless.
Edit to add: Castro put all of his homeless on boats to America in 1980. (the Mariel boat-lift). Castro said it was either that or
edit on 25-2-2013 by tovenar because: (no reason given)