The following survival guide was originally published by Nomad at The Survivalist Blog.
Editor’s Note: With the global economy in shambles and governments around the world stockpiling everything from emergency meals to survival seeds, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to identify at least a dozen potential collapse and disaster scenarios that could end life as we have come to know it in the Western world. Given the variety of potential problems we face, one in particular should stand out, especially given that some 100 million Americans are currently not working. Moreover, a new report from the World Bank suggests that things may continue to get worse as some 5 million jobs must be created every month over the next ten years just to maintain system stability.
Though still a significant threat, the most likely scenario we face right here and now is not necessarily a debilitating widespread event, but rather, a personal economic catastrophe. The reality is that people are getting poorer, people are losing jobs and there appears to be no solutions for the fundamental problems facing the United States. That being said, the one scenario we should all consider as a realistic possibility is losing the ability to put food on the table, paying our mortgage (or rent) and keeping the lights on.
The following article from MD Creekmore’s The Survivalist Blog is based on real-world experience and explores a scenario wherein you find yourself and your loved ones homeless and “living off the land.”
Homeless Survival : Practical Tips And Advice Derived From Personal Experience
These days, “survivalism” has come to mean preparing for great events like nuclear holocaust or total government collapse. But disaster may come on a much more personal level. Individuals can suffer catastrophe as surely as nations can. When they do, it can be even more distressing because individuals feel alone in their suffering. I am talking about personal financial ruin and homelessness. Thousands of people across North America, indeed the world, have already experienced it following bankruptcies and foreclosures.
Whole families have been evicted from their homes, some quite forcibly. We see dozens of tent cities appearing across America, and more people ordering storage containers to live in. What we don’t see are the “hidden homeless” – those forced to survive by couch-surfing or moving back in with family. If 47 + million Americans now live below the poverty line, that means 47 + million who are either homeless or in imminent danger of becoming so. And the number is still growing.
When I lost my own job a while ago, I was not overly concerned. I had enough savings to live on for over a year. Then the economy self-destructed. It became exceedingly difficult to score a job interview, let alone an actual job. As the months of unemployment dragged on, my savings dwindled until I was forced for the very first time to consider homelessness as a real possibility.
What would I do if worse came to worst? How would I live? Not being a “rugged” or “street-smart” person at all, I knew from the outset that I could not follow the prevailing wisdom of living as the homeless do and trying to blend in with them. Sleeping in bus shelters, eating from dumpsters, and staying in homeless shelters was not for me. I feel that joining the homeless population, as many recommend, severely limits your options, especially if you hold out any hope of ever rejoining society.
My only survival experience comes from camping and backpacking. I’ve survived for days or weeks with just the supplies on my back. So I tried to adapt that same knowledge to an urban environment, envisioning a new kind of “home-free” lifestyle. I prefer to call it “distributed living” or being an “urban nomad” because it lets you have most of life’s necessities, just not all in one place. It’s based on the backpacking model of carrying everything you need with you and being self-sufficient. It does require some resources and preparation. A plan like this must be undertaken before you actually become homeless, when you still have some money and credit to draw on.
Fortunately, homelessness is more easily anticipated than some other disasters. You often can see it coming months in advance. But even those who do may prefer to live in denial. You may think it cannot happen to you. But it has already happened to thousands who thought it could never happen to them either. Nobody plans to end up in a homeless encampment. But lately, this is where more and more of the former middle-class are landing. Even many famous celebrities have had periods of homelessness.
If you’re one of the lucky few who have nothing to worry about financially, remember that poverty is not the only cause of homelessness. Things like chemical spills, radiation leaks, brush fires, mudslides, arson, water main breaking, and civil unrest could all force you from your home as surely as mounting debt can.
Natural disasters can strike anyone at any time. Hurricane Katrina rendered an entire city’s population homeless within hours. So have tornadoes in America’s heartland and nuclear meltdown in Japan. In such situations, people with vehicles and bug out bags ready will be survivors. Everyone else will be refugees. With that in mind, the following suggestions should be helpful to many, whether facing imminent homelessness or not. They can also be used in partial disaster scenarios where much of society still functions, with only some residents being displaced.
Obviously this is the main problem faced by the homeless. Those who stay in the city are restricted by laws against putting up any kind of temporary shelter. This is why the homeless are so often seen huddling in doorways, alcoves, tunnels, etc. Many cities have outlawed sleeping outdoors, which gives police the power to harass anyone they see lying down with their eyes closed. In fact, as long as you can be seen by anyone at night, your safety is at risk.
Homeless shelters may be no better. Filled with drugs and mental illness, they can be more dangerous than the streets, and many transients know enough to avoid them. Similar problems exist in tent cities. Diseases and parasites can easily spread when many people, all with poor hygiene, live close together.
Wooded areas appear safer and can be found throughout cities in the form of ravines, forests, valleys and parks. Some homeless build shelters there using tarps, plywood, cardboard boxes, or whatever else they can find. This may work for a while. But authorities keep tabs on these encampments and sooner or later come to take them down. Also, any shelter can be a target for thieves and squatters when you’re not there. Its mere presence during the day tells everyone that homeless person is living there.
I get around these problems by using a relatively inexpensive “pop-up “camouflage dome tent found online. A pop-up tent can be set up and taken down extremely fast, with very little effort. The idea is to find a secluded area in the woods or a local park, put up the tent at sunset, and then take it down again at or before sunrise the next morning. There is no campsite for anyone to find because it does not exist during the day. This is also known as stealth camping and many long-distance cyclists use it to avoid staying in motels. They camp on public or private land and take off before anyone knows they were there.
Your safety will come from being totally hidden. For anyone to see you sleeping at night, they would have to enter the forest after dark, leave the path at the right spot, and see through your camouflage. Even in broad daylight, a camo tent amid foliage is hard to spot. I have spent several nights in city parks using this method and haven’t yet been detected. A tent is one of the best possible temporary shelters you can use and gives a sense of security, even if it is mostly psychological. It does need a relatively flat, clear area of ground to be set up, so scout locations before you need them and clear them of debris before nightfall.
An even smaller shelter that fits practically anywhere is the bivy sack– essentially a zippered bag just large enough for your body, made of waterproof, breathable material. Some fold down to the size of a water bottle. A bivy will keep you dry and sheltered but won’t have room for anything else, like changing clothes. Some come with a framework that holds the fabric away from your face for some breathing room.
Satellite images on Google Maps are great for finding dense woods in your area. You want areas that are more “wild” and overgrown, not those which are obviously mowed and well maintained by the parks department(though if you are very diligent about always taking your tent down at sunrise, you should have no problems either way).
Find spots which are totally hidden from both the trail and the street. At the same time, they should not be too far from places you want to go during the day. Eventually you will have memorized a few ideal spots around the city and can rotate between them so that you never camp in the same place too long. I use a heavy camouflage tarp as a groundsheet, protecting the tent floor from sharp debris. This can double as a cover for your gear, keeping it dry and hidden in the forest while you go about your daily business.
Do not try to weather a serious storm in a tent. At such times, train stations, bus stations and airports are better choices. They are open24 hours a day and are designed for people to wait in, with ample seating, bathrooms, snack bars, and sometimes wi-fi.
In bad weather, some people will be sleeping in their seats or on the floor due to transit delays, and you can blend in with them. Keep a travel book from the library across your chest or some old boarding passes sticking out of your pocket. If you are in an airport with multiple terminals, change terminals every so often. Lingering in one place too long may attract the attention of security(though I have heard of one woman living for months at the airport before anyone caught on). Hospital waiting rooms may be almost as good.
As an urban nomad, pick your outfit very carefully. It must not only protect you from the elements and carry what you need it to carry but also fit into an urban setting without looking odd. In my opinion, black should be the color of all your items, including bags. Black looks right at home in the city, can go longer between washings without looking dirty, makes your bags and pockets look smaller despite being packed with stuff, and will render you practically invisible at night. My all-black outfit consists of:
- waterproof hiking shoes
- paratrooper or cargo pants (lots of pockets)
- alternate pair of waterproof pants
- hoodie sweater
- expedition vest filled with pockets
- waterproof coat with hood
- baseball cap with built-in LEDs (like the Panther Vision power cap, for hands-free lighting at night)
Add to this a week’s worth of clean socks and underwear, as well as duplicate pants and hoodie so you’ll still have something to wear when doing laundry. In cold weather, I add wool socks, thermal insoles, wool turtleneck, wool long underwear, waterproof mitts, and a balaclava.
Huge packs made for backpacking may look odd in the city. I use a large size army surplus ALICE pack to carry bulky items such as sleeping bag and sleeping pad, with tent strapped to the outside. Choose a backpack that places the weight on your hips, not your shoulders, as the ALICE does. Urban commuter bags and messenger bags also work well for the city. You should be able to carry everything yourself when you need to. At other times, leave some of it stored or hidden and carry only what you need for that day. As backpackers know, the level of fitness required to carry everything you need on your back is not inconsiderable. So get in shape.
A compression sack may help fit everything in. Used by the army, this is a sack meant to be carried inside your pack. Fill it with compressible items (usually sleeping bag and clothes), then squeeze everything down, usually by sitting on it. At the same time, tighten all the straps around the sack. It will retain its smaller size until opened again.
Besides clothing, this is the other area that gives homeless people away. Though cities are filled with public bathrooms, it is hard to find one private enough to do anything more than use the toilet and wash your hands. So I recommend carrying a collapsible pail (found at camping stores) and a magnetic mirror (from a school supply store or dollar store).
Collapsible pails fold down flat to take up very little space in your pack. Fill one with warm water from the sink and bring it into one of the stalls. Set the pail atop the toilet tank or hang it from something if possible. Stick your magnetic mirror to the stall wall and use the pail as your sink. Now you can shave, brush teeth, and scrub your armpits in relative privacy.
Avoid bathrooms frequented by the homeless which tend to be the filthiest and most dangerous (eg. those in subways, public squares, certain restaurants, etc.). Clean, even elegant restrooms can be found in upscale shopping centers, colleges, theatres, airports, office buildings… places the homeless generally avoid. In hot weather, it may be possible to bathe in the same lakes and rivers where people go swimming.
When only a hot shower will do, visit a gym, YMCA, or university athletic center for the day, all of which have well appointed locker rooms. Fitness centers on college campuses may just be the cheapest, cleanest and safest, and are usually open to the public. A year’s membership will likely cost less than one month of rent, and may include perks like free wi-fi, towel service and a locker. It also provides a place to work out, rest, and socialize. Keeping suit clothes in your locker will allow you to go for job interviews. Beaches and campgrounds are other places to look for showers.
The travel section of dollar stores is a good place to pick up lightweight hygiene products like mini shampoo, mouthwash and toothpaste. Don’t forget plastic containers for your soap and toothbrush, and pill boxes to carry Aspirin, vitamins, and any medication you need. I keep all toiletries in a mesh bag which lets them air out after use. Replace your regular towel with a small, super absorbent one from a backpacking store. A battery-powered travel razor will let you shave just about anywhere, any time. Get one that runs on AA batteries as opposed to a plug-in rechargeable. Look for any way to save space, for instance using a bottle of camping soap also as dishwashing liquid and shampoo.
Facial cleansing cloths, wet naps, and hand sanitizer can keep you clean without water. If given any at a restaurant, save them until needed. Use those wet naps on your armpits and groin if necessary, where bacteria flourish. Use a high SPF sunscreen to avoid the telltale sunburn that many homeless people have. And if the look suits you, shave your head and forget about all the maintenance that comes with having hair.
Always practice good hygiene and grooming, not just for your own health but to keep blending in with civilized society. If you look and smell like a bum, you will find many doors closed to you.
The homeless survivalist does not have the option of storing food long-term or buying in bulk. You can only stockpile what you can carry – which amounts to maybe a week’s worth of sustenance at most. Peanut butter is an excellent choice, being easy to carry and eat, high in calories and protein, and needing no refrigeration. Trail mix is another. There’s a lot of energy in nuts and seeds, and most of these mixes now come in resealable bags. Think like a backpacker, keeping heavy items like canned goods to a minimum and removing any unnecessary packaging from foods to make them lighter.
Dried (dehydrated) foods are the lightest. Foods that are simple, won’t spoil quickly, and require little to no cooking are well suited for the urban nomad: think beef jerky, granola bars, raisins and other dried fruits, corn chips, banana chips, buns, bagels, raisin bread, peanuts, instant soups, etc. Again, dollar stores are good places to procure these items cheaply. Because your diet is sure to drop in quality, take a multivitamin daily as well.
Carry your food in a reusable cloth shopping bag and you will simply look as though you’ve just been grocery shopping. Also keep a length of rope in this bag for hanging it from a tree when in the forest. Never keep food in your tent or your pockets at night, especially in city parks teeming with raccoons.
You should still have some means of cooking food. Needless to say, a big open fire in the woods would give away your presence. My personal choice was a Jet boil propane stove, with an Emberlit stove as backup. The Jet boil may be the fastest, most efficient means of boiling water outside, making it good for preparing instant foods and purifying water. The Emberlit stove is a wood stove. It folds flat, taking up almost no space in a pack, and its fuel is essentially free. It lets you cook with a very small fire well suited to stealth camping.
Look into the ultra-light, compact kitchen utensils that backpackers use. Such products are designed to fit inside each other and take up minimum space. I fit my two stoves, fuel canisters, two bowls, pot, mug, cutlery, can opener, and even a Steripen water purifier into a bag less than 9” wide by 11” tall.
Cities usually have places to fish. Take advantage of this free food source by carrying a compact fishing rod. The smallest rods fold down almost to the size of a pen. For tackle, all you really need are a couple of floats, some hooks, sinkers, and a lure or two, all of which will fit in the palm of your hand. Add a package of scented Power bait, or some similar product, to always have bait on hand. Look for live bait beneath fallen and rotting logs, or use pieces of food like bread or corn.
I’ve heard you can cook and eat practically anything that walks on land or flies. But be very careful with plants and eat only those you can positively identify as safe. (The color illustrations of plants in the pocket version of The SAS Survival Guide can help with this.)
This should be the least of your worries. Drinking water is readily found throughout cities. You should carry at least one 1L water bottle andget in the habit of topping it up every time you come to a tap or drinking fountain. Once you get used to water, you need never pay money for drinks again.
In the woods, large rivers are the preferred water source and you’ll want to camp near one if possible. A fast moving stream will be cleaner than a pool of standing water. Of course any water drawn from such a source must first be purified, just like in the wilderness. That means boiled, filtered, or treated with tablets or UV light.
Water purification tablets (easily found at camping stores) are the easiest way to treat water without additional apparatus. River water should never be your first choice for drinking, but is good to have nearby when you run out of water collected from the city. Remember that almost all purification methods will remove the biological pathogens but not the chemical pollutants.
If rain is forecast, leave your collapsible pail outside to collect it. This water will not have to be purified.
Internet access is essential even when homeless. It is how you will look for jobs, send resumes, learn survival tips, and keep in contact with the wider world. You may even use it to earn money directly, using something like Amazon Mechanical Turk, or to offer your goods and services on EBay or Craigslist (the “gigs” section of Craigslist contains short-term odd jobs that pay cash). Under normal circumstances, this would hardly be enough to live on. But without rent or utilities to pay, the economics of a nomadic lifestyle are somewhat different.
Fortunately there are more and more places to use the Internet for free, especially if you can provide your own laptop, iPad or netbook. Find out all the freewi-fi zones in your vicinity. There will be some in places you never knew or expected. Large district libraries and reference libraries can be ideal. There you can find computers, cubicles, outlets to plug into, and some portable chairs to sit in all day. (Note: When using public wi-fi, always use a Virtual Private Network or VPN, like the free service Hotspot Shield, when entering passwords.)
The online environment looks the same whether you are homeless or not, and so can be a source of comfort and consistency as your living conditions change. When immersed in online activities, it almost doesn’t matter where you are. Even a homeless person can spend the day playing online games, watching shows, listening to music, writing a blog, and reading the news, much like a normal person would. If you have the need and the money, consider a rugged computer like the Panasonic Toughbook. Able to withstand drops and freezing temperatures, with a waterproof keyboard that glows in the dark, this laptop line is practically built for homelessness.
You should have a radio, like any survivalist. The lightest might be something like an armband radio for joggers, with readout showing the time and an alarm. Use it to check weather reports daily, and choose your attire and shelter areas accordingly.
Cellphones make having your own phone number as an urban nomad very easy. Remember to charge it and your other wireless devices whenever you come across an available outlet.
If you need to receive mail, one choice is renting a PO Box. There are also services that can provide you with a real street address if you want people to think you have one. You will get an address like “99 Paladin Street #1” where the number actually refers to your box. This is useful when you have to give your home address to obtain services.
This is the essence of “distributed living” – your shelter in one area, your shower in another, your mailbox in yet another. All are components of your “home”, you just need to travel a bit to get to each one.
Your own two feet may serve as your primary mode of transport. For this reason, don’t skimp on your footwear and make sure it fits perfectly.
If you can still afford gas, auto repairs, parking and insurance, then by all means keep your vehicle as both transportation and shelter. If not, consider a bicycle as a substitute. Having a bike makes everything seem much closer than if you were walking, and will expand your range considerably.
I already cycle everywhere and now prefer it to the often poor and overcrowded public transit system. Add a Bob Yak trailer, or almost any child bicycle trailer, and you can bring all your survival supplies with you. Some child trailers turn into strollers when detached from the bike. You can then push your belongings along the sidewalk in something a little more stylish than a shopping cart.
Not everyone will have concerns about winter, depending on where they live. For me, the problem of surviving a Canadian winter without a heated shelter must be treated with deadly seriousness. Many homeless people die on the streets of cold countries every year. Throughout Europe, we have just seen how extreme cold can strike even in unlikely places and kill hundreds without warning. Without going into all the details of winter survival, here are some tips:
You must test out your cold weather gear before trusting your life to it. For example, camp out in the backyard during a deep freeze. Winterized sleeping bags have temperature ratings but their effectiveness varies depending on the user’s own body heat, metabolism, and clothing. Sit in the park for several hours in your full winter outfit to see if it’s enough. The amount of insulation needed for sitting still in the cold is greater than what people typically wear for dashing from one heated structure to another. Dress in layers and always cover your head, even when sleeping. Wool is arguably the best material as it insulates so well, even when wet.
A sleeping pad is just as essential as a sleeping bag. This item is easy to overlook, but without it you will get cold no matter how great your sleeping bag is. The ground has a way of conducting the heat right out of a warm body. (For the same reason, never sit directly on the ground without a thermal cushion like hunters use or some such insulating barrier.) The warmest sleeping pads are also the bulkiest and cannot be carried inconspicuously. I chose to focus on the smaller self-inflating pads and get the one with the highest ‘R-value (insulation rating) I could find. Without a sleeping pad, you will have to sleep on cardboard or newspapers just like the homeless do, or use pine boughs when in the wilderness.
From what I’ve seen, gadgets like electric sleeping bags and propane space heaters are not practical or effective. And building a fire is usually out of the question. So you will be relying on your own body heat for warmth. Don’t lose it by leaving your shelter at night. If you have to relieve yourself, use a bottle instead. Study the survival tactics of winter campers and arctic explorers.
Anything that does not take well to freezing – laptops, cell phones, water bottles – should share the sleeping bag with you, down near your feet. Some winter sleeping bags have extra room at the bottom for this purpose. If you fill your water bottle with hot water before retiring, it will help warm you. Use extra layers of shelter if you have them. For example, using a bivy sack inside a tent may seem redundant but it will increase your bag’s effectiveness against the cold. So will using a tent inside a larger structure.
The U.S. Army Survival Handbook adequately covers the wilderness side of homeless survival. It takes into account the soldier’s need for stealth and concealment when stuck in enemy territory. Where other survival books tell how to remain visible and attract the attention of search parties, this one shows how to conceal your presence, move stealthily over terrain, and to build fires and shelters so that they cannot be spotted by the enemy. (For our purposes, “enemy” can refer to anyone – police, park rangers, security guards, neighborhood watch, etc. – who tend to make life extra difficult for the homeless.) This no-nonsense guide also has surprising and innovative ways to treat your own injuries and illnesses in the field using common materials.
Thanks to odd jobs, credit cards and help from relatives, I remain housed for now. But the threat of homelessness still looms large. My debts are such that I do not know exactly where I will be living three months from now. But even if homelessness never strikes, I won’t regret the time and money spent preparing for it. The increased confidence and peace of mind have been worth it. I know that, whether housed or not, life will go on. Even the idea of spending winter without a permanent shelter is no longer unthinkable, and that is an amazing thing. Preparing for homelessness has incidentally prepared me for other scenarios, like the furnace breaking down or a sudden evacuation. And I can go camping or backpacking at a moment’s notice.
Homelessness has to be one of the gloomiest things to think about, let alone prepare for. But realize that not thinking or preparing will make the reality of it worse. If you do find yourself out on the street, having a plan of where to go, what to do, and what to take with you can make all the difference. If it helps, don’t think of yourself as homeless but as a nomad practicing an alternative lifestyle. Without such an attitude or plan, you will start to resemble the typical bums who wander without direction or purpose. Who have nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nothing to hope for. Homelessness does not have to look like that. Develop the skills of the urban nomad and practice distributed living. Keep your basic needs met and your mind clear, and you can always live a dignified existence whatever your situation may be.
Visit MD Creekmore’s The Survivalist Blog for more preparedness and survival articles like this.
MD Creekmore is the author of 31 Days to Survival and Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat.
Will not be fun at all…
This scenario remains a distinct possibility. The fact is that most Americans have no more than a one month survival window as it relates to losing their jobs.
The whole damn country are pay-check players. If we don’t get our bi-weekly or monthly stipend it’s a very real breakdown and it is almost immediate.
Sure, we have “unemployment insurance” but 99 weeks goes by very fast – and even during that time period the unemployment support is nowhere near what a middle class family needs to make just to pay the monthly essentials. Hell, one of those checks doesn’t even cover the rent, not to mention food, utilities, car payment…
These kinds of personal disasters play out every single day across this country and it is only going to get worse.
A multitude of events could place any of us there, quickly.
Primitive camping / hunting over the year taught me much.
Getting older just makes it harder…
Be well all…
Unemployment is only 26 weeks, they did away with fed extentions. People that live like kings on credit and have debt will eat shit. Be debt free and own a camper. A wise man once said “be careful what you own because it might end up owning you!” I just feel sorry for the kids but then they are probably fat and stupid just like their parents 🙂
When I was building my place I lived in a camper that was solar powered and had a generator. I could have lived in that for years! And rent free! Cost me 3K and worth every cent. Hell you can buy an older travel trailer for 500 bux. Park it on some abandoned property or buy some cheap land. It’s not that people have no choice it’s that people made stupid choices and now have to pay the piper. I will NEVER be homeless, I guarantee it!
I took a job in a city 3 hours from my house. The owner of the company talked about how he wanted responsible, self reliant people working for him. The rents were really high due to the energy boom and they wanted one year leases so I decided to live in my camper for the 90 day probationary period. Almost 3 months later the boss cslled me in and fired me because I was living in my camper at wallmart…
I checked out the local gigs in Craigslist as Nomad suggested. Here’s a sample
Our prayers go to the truly needy among us! May God shower you with all the blessings you and your families need!
God BLESS for your encouragement,boy do I Need,thanks again
BLESS you,PASTOR William
Genius, once I ‘bugout’ to the BOL that’s where I’ll be for the rest of my life. I don’t expect to ever be homeless again.
yup! i purchased my property with an 8 year old huge house, cash 3 years ago, this is my location. and due to military disability my taxes are stupid low, own all my vehicles with absolutely no debt. it would be nearly impossible for me to become homeless.
says the man just before he fell. never say never.
I just feel sorry for the kids but…
Me too, but look at a lot of the so-called “kids” today. Under “ObamaCare,” isn’t an adult at age 23 still defined as a dependent “kid?” WHOA!
Go to Wally-World or a mall today. View two parents (usually not married) with their “brood” in tow. They are not viewed as “off-spring,” but rather another “SNAP” card or welfare payment. Things. (and “things,” like Creature from the Black Lagoon, they are!) Soulless. Unfeeling. Uncaring. Clueless. Inhuman.
Dad and Mom have tattoos over 98% of their huge, bloated bodies. What’s left showing has rings, pins, or other metal. The so-called “kids” waddling behind the parents shuffle along–they can’t walk in a straight line, because they are so fat. Hands carrying electronic gizmos or food rammed into their faces.
We call these families “land whales.” When hard times hit, they will be “beached” and run aground. No hope for the lot of them.
As my Pa would say: “You made your bed, now sleep in it.”
Great article if you are a backpacker but not homeless.
I deal or should say I have been dealing with homeless people for many years. The greater majority fit into two categories. Either you are mentally unbalanced or you have a drug problem. Sometimes they have both.
None of them have the resources as described in the article. Anything of value was sold, traded or stolen within the first 2 weeks of living on the streets.
The only other thing I will add is a request by all to be nice to these people. They have problems that most of us will never have to deal with. These are the true
helpless people that society needs to be charitable with.
I do not think the author actually exist and this is a fake article written by some pretender. A while back I had a guy approach me who lived in Seattle area and he wanted to write fake articles for my site. He showed me some articles and methods he used to generate 100% bullshit articles because some sites either cannot write or have zero experience in anything so they fake it ! I told the guy what a tithead he was and never contact me again. I think this article is a fraud.
Do you think what you see on TV is real?? It’s a product. Embellished to sell TV and sell commercial time.
This article is simply a discussion of ways and methods to operate in hard times. Not really fiction. More opinion/guidance than anything. We are in hard times with close to 1/4 of the population out of a job. I think it’s an appropriate topic.
Google “pictures of the great depression”
Google “Facts about the great depression”
For you to deem the article/author as fraud kinda makes me think your a recent product of public schools. Unable to cipher what your reading. Ya know, ya don’t have to post your negative comments.
I am way ahead of you about being well informed and having excellent sources of REAL information. And the only actual negative comment is your own to me ? It is just my opinion based on an experience that was very real and it shouts at me of fake. Last I checked we can still exepress our thoughts here in USSA today but maybe titheads like yourself think that is only OK for for certain people? You are not even in the ball park with your response. Time to rethink some stuff ?
You reek of a liberal troll. Are you? Your comments are designed to spin fault back on me. Liberal tactics 101: Never admit fault and it’s always someone else who’s to blame.
You dump on the article: Why? Trying to stir up discord? I’ve visited dozens of sights that I didn’t agree with. I simply moved on. No need to post nasty comments.
NO, I am likely far more conservative and good to go than you in every possible way ! I don’t see any homeless where I live and that is part of why I live where I do very deliberately. I also see very few beggars or LGBT, because they don’t show up here much ? So you are obviously still in la la land 🙂
I rest my case.
So you apparently agree with me. and yrs there is a lot of BS out there in the so-called prepper world. If you have not figured that out you likely never will and will be stuck in a nonthinking mode forever. But that is the majority of USSA today is it not ? Simple is always the best way just like common sense and basic truth is!
Says based on experience but at the end the guy says he isnt homeless and glad he prepared. So not an actual story from a street survivor.
No numb nuts. I don’t agree with you. I “rest my case” given you provided more empirical evidence you’re a product of the public school system. You’re not too bright by any stretch…
talk about not too bright ? go look in the mirror tithead 🙂
Seasoned Citizen, I see the same kind of people in myarea all the time and that’s not just at wallyworld, which I stay out of all I can. They are everywhere. If the kids were raised right, I could fell some empathy for them. But when their minds are screwed up like the parents’ minds, I don’t have one bit of sympathy for them. Your description of them is perfect.
Mac, thanks for this article. one of the best you’ve ever given us yet. I hope everyone here learns something from it. Like B from CA said, if you can avoid homelessness, avoid it at all costs.
Anyone who finds themselves in this predicament should do a few helpful things:
1. Relocate to a milder climate. In Arizona for example, people having been moving north for the summer and south for the winter (within AZ) for a few hundred years. I do it myself.
2. Locate the local Salvation Army and/or St Mary’s Food Bank wherever you are at. There are 500 SMFB’s scattered across the country and many soup kitchens available for a hot meal.
3. Panhandle. The Federal Courts have determined that it is a 1st Amendment Right to fly a sign asking for cash. I recently saw an article in the Flagstaff paper online where they interviewed a guy who had collected $1200 in a month (before taxes) sitting on a sidewalk in downtown Flagstaff this summer. Go figure.
4. There is a current case in Federal Court in Idaho filed by the ACLU against the City of Boise. The battle has raged for some time evidently, but recently the DOJ has submitted a letter in the case as a friend of the Court, defending the right of the poor to sleep in public places as a Constitutional Right, contrary to Urban Camping laws around the country.
5. If you are a homeless veteran, seek out a veterans counselor who can hook you up with a place to stay and a job, too.
This info could be helpful if you find yourself in a jam. Good luck. God bless. 🙂
I lived in a travel trailer in a friends backyard for seven years. I live in a house now, with property but will always own a house on wheels. We are selling our RV. Just bought a used slide in camper. It will be more offroad friendly when I get it on the vehicle. The author spent a lot of money for very expensive camping gear. My first house ( travel trailer ) cost $500. You can buy a hum dinger for less than $2000. I do have back paks and am always working on setting them up better, when money allows, but a cheap slide in camper, travel trailer, or RV will always be a better option. You can park at a different wally world every night for free. We have four in our county alone. A van would be a good option to. Always buy 4wd if you can. Even my wifes car is 4wd. Always think about every purchase. Spend one extra dollar and make it dual purpose. Once you start doing it all of the time it will become natural to think about what else can I use this or that for.
Good artical and glad you made it Brave. Most of us have been there or know someone that has been there. Learn from your mistakes and others. Their is nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as you learn from them and don’t make the same ones twice.
Fishandmud, thanks for that. As I said earlier, that was the biggest SHTF event I’ve ever had. After being through that, I feel like I can survive anything. I can vouch for a van being an option. Full-size utility van or the old conversion vans is the way to go. With the utility van, throw in a mattress, pillow, blankets and you’re all set plus a little space for some personal belongings. On the old conversion vans take out the 2 ‘captains seats’ in the middle to create some storage space. The rear bench seat folds out into bed so you he instant emergency shelter that doubles as transportation.
Homeless = human garbage
First problem with the writer, and others like him can be noted in his comment: “When I lost my own job a while ago”. He then goes on about looking for another job. Too many people see jobs and work as interchangeable, they are not. Jobs rarely pan out well, work rarely fails. When you lose your job, go to work. Don’t mess around looking for the next “job”, go to work the next day. What work? Depends on the person, but do NOT waste your precious time searching for your next boss.
Sure, we all have part time jobs somewhere in our lives, but at some point you must enter adulthood, stop the jobs and work for yourself. In the time wasted seeking a job, anyone can start their own cash business. If you have managed to hold ANY type of skilled job, you do have the ability to start a cash business. For most people, the only thing they lack is confidence in themselves and/or fear of taking the first step.
Again consider the loser writing the story above “It became exceedingly difficult to score a job interview, let alone an actual job. As the months of unemployment dragged on, my savings dwindled” Months wasted searching for his new boss to tell him each step to take each day, losing whatever start-up capital he might have had at the beginning. And now all he can do is give advice on where to find decent restrooms while loving on the streets. Sad, just so terribly sad. But seriously, just reading his first few paragraphs, would any employer here want to hire this guy? We look for people who can help us thrive, not for bums we have to babysit.
However, if you insist on having a job, follow my advice, work. Every job offer I received came while I was working. As an employer I have never offered a job to anyone because of a resume. I find the guy already working and I go to work convincing him to join my team. I never, ever, want to deal with someone walking in the door who has been on unemployment for months. It can be assumed that there are plenty of reasons why they are not working daily, I don’t have the time to learn those reasons, and then try to correct them.
Don’t have a job? Drag your ass out of the house and Work. Doesn’t matter at what, money can be made at almost anything.
Your attitude wreaks of arrogance. If I were an employer I would fire your ass. This guy has gone through a hard time. Not everyone can get a job even though they try hard. The economy is failing and there is fierce competition for even jobs that do not require a degree. I agree that it is better to work some job than have no job.
Sam, AMEN to your comments. Tent City sounds like he lives in some fantasy world. I’ve been in the real world for my whole life. I also have a problem with anyone that has that mentality.
His attitude doesn’t change the fact that if you have a marketable skill, you can work for yourself instead of waiting around for a job to show up.
I got tired of working for others and left the work force, just as John Galt did in “Atlas Shrugged.” I now do similar work, but I have no boss and I make much more per hour. And even that seems cheap to others, so sometimes people give me extra money for the work I do. I don’t even advertise much. I get a lot of work via word of mouth.
I just talked to someone on the phone last night who wants me to put some VHS tapes onto DVDs for Christmas presents. I am currently working on copying someone’s camcorder tapes to DVD and someone else’s reel-to-reel tapes to CDs. A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me to repair some broken VHS tapes.
I was commissioned to write a small local history book for a town in another state earlier this year. I will be traveling there later this year, all expenses paid plus a week’s pay, to attend a fund raiser for a local park and to sign copies of my book. I have also spent a sizable part of the last few years working on genealogy and a book for a wealthy client.
Everyone needs to acquire marketable skills so that you don’t have to depend on someone else. Being a cog in a corporate machine is not a marketable skill, in my opinion. I have various skills, which means I can work all I want to.
Your correct. 40 years ago I was working as a Mechanic being paid $4.50 per hour. the Shop was receiving $25 per hour. I asked for more money and the boss said no If your worth more start your own shop. And I quit and put a small add in the paper and Started working out of my home. I always had a couple of jobs lined up. I charged $10.00 per hour and folks thought it was a bargain.
You are a piece of trash. Kill yourself.
Yes, this is about the best article this year. Thanks. I can personally vouch for everything he said, except for the cold weather stuff. I was homeless in the summer and early fall. I had secured a roof over my head before it got cold — thank God.
The only difference was, I had a severely ruptured disk in my neck, which made me “less than mobile”, I was on foot had no tent or camping supplies…but I made it for almost about 2 months anyway.
Since those “shelters” are perpetually full with long waiting lists, I might not have made it through a cold spell.
My one goal in life has been to never be caught like that again…and I won’t be. EVER.
Article V of the United States Constitution allows us to call a Convention of States to restrict the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, effectively returning the citizens’ rightful power over the ruling elite and if we don’t do that or just a flat out rebellion very soon, we will lose everything and there will be no turning back.
During hurricane Rita I drove past the laundry mat and it was full of about 30 homeless people using it as a shelter from the storm.
Which brings me to this question–WHY ARE THOUSANDS OF CHURCHES NOT BEING USED FOR THE HOMELESS.
I realize it would require constant supervision, but people let’s get our crap together.
What would Jesus do, because He’s coming back someday and see His buildings empty and folks sleeping on the ground.
We will be held responsible.
The shelter crowd is not like regular people. When regular folks evacuate they have a place to go to. Either friends, family or hotel. People that go to evacuation shelters are a different kid of people.
Our church opened it’s doors during Hurricane Rita to 500 evacuees. Every Sunday School class held about 20 to 30 sleeping spots.
The people wrote on the walls, stole church property, were having sex in the same room where numerous other people were sleeping. Other were getting drunk or smoking marijuana.
In one of the class rooms someone shit on the floor. There was a bathroom not more than 30 feet away and they shit on the floor anyway.
It cost our church $8,000 to replace the carpet and paint after housing evacuees for only 4 nights.
We won’t do it again.
that money dont belong to you anyway. it gos to the poor. but i guess u put gods money in your dam pocket. u could have got a guard, but no you bitch instead. there a place in hell for your ass. you might find your own ass sleeping in the cold one day, then your ass will no how its feels to be treated like shit.
you must be related to the lone wolverine poster, it seems neither of you went much past the 3rd grade.
Bernie won that bitch. 82% of the people polled say so. Not supporting him in the booth just pointing out how the media tries to shove a candidate down the people throat, and how easily and quickly the sheeple adopt the opinion of the pundits as their own.
Nothing is said in this homeless list about defense, both your person and your personal items. Other homeless people will steal your stuff unless they know that you can and will defend yourself. A weapon of some kind to back up your threat is important: a handgun, a knife, a sturdy walking stick. Also never leave your stuff for any reason, all your items have to portable enough to take with you, even to the bathroom. Also learning to catnap (sleep with one eye one) is going to be important, night or day.
Excellent article, I think black may not be a good choice for your outerwear. I would prefer grey for the city. Just my two cents worth.
Don’t worry, many will head to the Fema camps.
Katrina all over again.
I’ll maintain my position, and quietly watch as they march off into the distance… 🙂
Excellent article. Did you carry Pepper Spray?
This is all well and good IF you are young, strong and healthy. I was working as a nurse when I came down with a bad gall bladder. Of course my insurance required I go to my employer’s hospital. Their surgeon badly botched the surgery, rending me septic. After a three week coma, on a respirator, I spent five more weeks relearning how to walk. The day before I went home on a walker, they FIRED me “because I could no longer do the work!”. It took four years to get health insurance (Medicare because I was on Disability). We didn’t become homeless but only because my wife and I were of a “prepper mentality” and were ready for this disaster. We both realised that “bad things can happen to anybody”. I never imagined it would be from an oh-so-holy Catholic Hospital (Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, CO). The complete details are at my website above.
But Matt..how insensitive of you to not want to endure these indignities after you’ve worked decades to pay taxes and support a system that welcomes Mexicans and refugees that haven’t contributed one damn cent to this nation with open arms and 24/7 financial and emotional care. (sarcasm over)
This is the scenario to avoid at all cost. Granted the writer has learned a few skills but come on this is not a game. People who are homeless are much more likely to become victims of assault, rape, theft and on and on. If you have kids, what are you going to do, drag them around with you.
I know that bad things happen to good people. Shelters are the pits but can keep you off the street. They provide two or three free meals and sometimes help people find affordable or partially subsidized housing and sometimes assistance with job search. Some have substance abuse assistance AA and the like. Anyway if they are available, it is worth looking into. Might have to call several before you find a spot. If you leave or stay out late, you lose your spot.
I was a provider for exchange students. If you live remotely near a college, and you have a spare bedroom, the extra money could help to pay the rent or mortgage. If you are facing monetary catastrophe don’t wait until TSHTF. If you have to, rent out every room in your house and move into your own garage or rent out the garage.
It’s easier to avoid homelessness than it is to escape it once you fall into it.
God Bless all Preppers and non-preppers alike.
B from CA, spot on. it’s never a game and I speak from personal experience. I was fortunate that I had the right resources to keep my experience from getting any worse than it was. Homelessness is tough to deal with but not impossible. It is survivable and eventually possible to get back into a normal situation. I’m living proof of it. Even when living in the van, I still went to work every day and still kept my nose to the grindstone, hoping against all odds that I would get back to normal and in only a few weeks I did. All the same, it was still no picnic sleeping inside an old utility van, but I was sure glad I had that van when the fire struck. Otherwise…..
When buying a car. Think about how practical it would be as shelter. Could you sleep in it comfortably. Is there a place for belongings. An overhead or trunk. A truck with camper top. Or may be a trailer. An RV (recreational vehicle could put you in the millionaire status of homeless). I’m serious. When push comes to shove, barring societal breakdown, your car is going to be your home if you have one. A porche is not glamorous and too flashy to sleep in.
Forget about a car. A full-size van is the way to go or one of the old conversion vans if you can find one. some of those are still on the road. for the utility van, just throw in an old mattress with a pillow and some blankets or even a sleeping bag. the van will at least have some room that you can stretch out in it. All of the old conversion vans had rear bench seats which converted into beds. take out the 2 ‘captains seats’ in the middle of the van and PRESTO CHANGEO, you have a shelter on 4 wheels which will still double as transportation. plus some room for whatever personal belongings you may have with you. RV is best IF you have that kind of money but most people don’t. to me, cars are useless, but that’s just me.
All the homeless people I have come across are mentally ill, drunks or drug addicts.
People who are down on their luck homeless typically get help from churches or homeless shelters. There is a lot of material support for homeless people that arn’t nuts.
Yep Stiner, you are correct. Every word.
Behind my pops house is a trench about 40 ft wide and a mile long and then there is woods and then the river the land between the two waterways is inaccessible by vehicles. The trench was dug to run a 1800s mill that burned down in the 90s. On one end there is a iron I beam about 4 inches wide which can be walked over carefully by the other end is a gate to control the water flowing from the trench it has a hydro mechanical wheel inside. And a 10 inch wide cement beam which can be easily crossed by foot. The land in the middle is about 75 acres or so I’d say. Homeless like this area because the police can’t get to them without going for a walk out to their camp. They can escape either way or wade through in another spot or two. I know this because I grew up there and as a kid went back there all the time. In the winter the trench freezes and you can play hockey and ice skate. This area is not used by anyone because it’s a wildlife sanctuary and is protected. I have reconoitered this area extensively as a youth. We used to play man hunt in the woods and as we got older go drink beer and party. I would totally live out there if I were homeless I’ve built forts as a kid back there you could easily stay in and be perfectly dry and warm with a fire.
OK, everyone, yours truly has been where the author of the article has been and I’ve told this story a few times here in the past but never really went into much detail about it. In November 1982 I was living in a trailer park in a small one-bedroom trailer that was a real dive. My plan was to live in it until I could get enough money for a better place; no way would it become permanent. One night I was awakened from a deep sleep by the smell of smoke; I recognized at as electrical smoke. I only had a handful of belongings packed away in an old army duffel bag so I got up, grabbed my clothes and the duffel bag and got the hell out of there. My wheels at the time was a 1972 Dodge utility van. It was parked close enough to the trailer that something could’ve happened to it so I started it and moved it as fast as I could. by that time the trailer was already engulfed in flames. So began my ‘great adventure’ of being homeless, but it only lasted for a month. This was in November just when it started getting cold. Most of my belongings were already packed in the van when the fire struck. I was one of the more ‘fortunate’ homeless people. I had 2 jobs at that time, transportation which could and did double as temporary shelter, and friends who let me borrow their showers until I could get back into a normal situation. Being burned out of that trailer took me by surprise but the experience taught me some valuable lessons and gave me some further education about survival. Even to my own surprise, I managed to keep a cool head on my shoulders and a positive attitude. I never went back to alcohol, which I’d already given up earlier that year, or turned to any drugs to cope. I had a mattress, pillow, and a couple of wool blankets in the van, so I still managed to sleep pretty good in spite of everything. One week before Christmas I moved into a 1-bedroom apartment and thought I’d died and gone to heaven. No furniture and only my belongings in the duffel bag, a few boxes, and the mattress, pillow, and wool blankets from the van, but HALLELEUJAH, I was off the streets and back into a normal situation. That experience was the biggest curveball life has ever thrown at me but I SURVIVED IT. I’ve had other, less serious SHTF events since then and survived them all and today I’m doing better than ever. When I read this article, I broke down. It really hit home for me. One of the best articles on homeless survival I ever read. Homelessness is a real bitch, but it is survivable. If you can keep a cool head, positive attitude, and faith in God, you can and will make it through the experience. Been there, done that, and sometimes I wish I could forget it but I don’t dare forget it. Braveheart is a survivor. I dare the trolls to come out and try to ridicule me on this subject. I’ll take their asses to the cleaners.
No one should ridicule another. We are all on this planet just trying to survive. People who are in the elite have to have a tougher skin as the have nots have nothing if not the right to take them to task verbally. The price you pay for being a billionaire.
I have wealthy friends. Sometimes people make unkind remarks about the homeless and poor and I chuckle because the rich man they are trying to impress was once homeless and broke.
I also know wealthy people who look like poor and drive clunkers. Be nice, you never know.
B from CA, excellent advice. I would venture to say that few if any of the elite have any tough skin. but the same thing can be said for the SHEEPLE out there also. I know one wealthy person right now who drives a vehicle like I used to have and dresses like any ordinary common people you see every day. He once told me he does that because he doesn’t want to advertise his wealth. He lives not too far from me in an old single-family home that he rents just like I do, NOT in one of the ‘better parts of town’, so to speak. he’s set for life, but you would never know it if you saw him. I guess it’s his version of OPSEC. considering his situation it makes perfect sense.
Yes they think I drive that old beat up truck because I have too. I drive it because I want too.
I’ve never been forced into homelessness but Ive roughed it by choice consistently throughout the course of my life. I am a nomad in spirit like many great adventurers. I’ve been in some real dire straits in my expeditions but if youre smart and tough and you have the willingness to keep fighting it can be done.
Brave, thanks for sharing your story about such a difficult situation. I’ve never been homeless, but I realize of course how easily the winds of fortune can change. I always say that most folks are only a car transmission/motor away from living under a bridge…lose your transportation and you can’t get to work and it’s all downhill after that.
Useful article, thanks Mac.
Thanks for the story about your early life. It brought back memories of mine and people relate better when they know where you are coming from.
I respect you for what you have done with your life and what you do to make a living. Unlike wwti/Karl/other trolls, that look down their noses at average people like us “hillbillys”, that have had to make it on their on. Their day is coming.
I believe it makes you a better person when you go through such things, because you begin to search your soul more and possibly rely more on your spiritual connection or search for it.
The other path that some take is a path of no focus. Basically, becoming a bum and/or a thief. Sometimes that lifestyle suits a lazy person better because they don’t care about others and can’t see themselves making a steady commitment to something called….a job.
My younger brother and I grew up poor, only because of having a sorry assed, self consumed mother, and a greedy-assed, selfish father. They were split for the majority of our childhood, and we had to pry school lunch money from our Dad, mush less an ice cream/chocolate milk allowance, because it may cut into his whoring around funds.
We were having a discussion just this week about how kids today don’t appreciate things. I brought up how we just appreciated having the $1.35 each week to pay for school lunch, which was back in the sixties. and would have thought we had died and gone to Heaven if we had an extra dime for ice cream once in a while.
Then, I brought up how bad it felt to sit in the cafeteria and watch the “rich” kids eat ice cream during break after recess/PE, period. Having to sit there while others enjoyed popsicles, and knowing your Dad was too stingy to give you an extra dime once in a while, was depressing. Hell, just an exta nickle to buy chocolate milk would have been nice every other day or so.
My brother asked how long i put up with that, and i said until i got old enough to work for my own money, which was when i was seven and a half years old, and started mowing the yard across the road that belonged to the old rich man as a summer home only. That old man was my first experience of dealing with an absolute piece of shit wealthy human excrement. It took me about six hours of hard labor to do all his mowing and then trimming with hand tools, and got paid a whole dollar and fifteen cents, for the day.
Not to mention that he pissed and moaned all the time and was a hateful sob, especially as me being a poor kid. He did not care, no compassion. After two summers of doing his lawn work, and learning that, after dear old mom had returned home for a spell, she was screwing the old man for $$; I started doing some pissing and moaning of my own about getting paid more. I guess she threatened to cut off his cheap romps in the woods, so he gave me a big raise…….15 cents. That is right, i was now getting a grand total of $1.25 for a whole days work at the age of 9.
But, for the most of May, and the months of September and most of October, I ate ice cream like one of the rich kids almost every day or had chocolate milk. Once in a while in the cold weather months, i robbed from the old man’s silver dime stash and gave my brother half so we could buy chocolate milk, once in a while. Dad would never buy chocolate milk for us to drink at home…never. His response when we begged, ” I never had chocolate milk growing up”.
I am not telling this just to toot my own horn, but more as a way for some of the Millenials and Z generations that frequent here, to relate to how things could have been for them.
Oh, and btw, little brother, which is four years younger, said he started doing odd jobs for elderly neighborhood women, like taking out trash and raking leaves, cleaning and such when he was eight for his ice cream funds. When it got too cold to ride his bike the two miles to where the elderly widows lived, he started his lollipop business. I never knew what he was doing until he told me just this week, some 45 years later.
At the little country store about a mile away, there were big swirl all day lollipops that could be bought for 10 cents or three for a quarter. Little brother would use almost all his “odd job” money and buy up those lollipops and sell them at school to the rich kids. 25 cents each to the girls and 30 to the boys. He said he never ran out of lollipops and or ice cream money ever again.
Instead of lollipops, i bought colored pencils and traded them to the cute girls to show me their panties…lol, and to see the faces of the guys when i told them what color panties the girls were wearing. i was kind of a ‘little dirty Johnny’ type, but harmless.
We both learned the lessons of hard work and Entrepreneurship, but I can guarantee you that Dad never had that in mind when he refused to give us an allowance.
PWTW, thanks for that and sorry to hear about your childhood but the main thing is you survived it and still did something good with your life. people like you and I will still be standing tall when it’s all over. But the trolls…..well, I think that’ll be a different story.
I picked up soda bottles for the two cents deposit. Gathered walnuts in the fall and sold them to the dehuller. I was stingy and saved my money. Eventually bought a 57 chevy for $40 when I was 14 got it running drove it a bit. then sold the transmission for $75 and eventually parted it out. I always could make a dollar or two doing mechanic work.
Great life experience Braveheart thx for sharing! Glad things have gotten better for you. Strong mind and self discipline you have also for not going back to drink! Been there done that to , still sober after 20 yrs now. I grew up dirt poor but now wife an I have a business we worked hard for. Almost lost it back in 08 saw the changes coming went through all savings to keep afloat. Didn’t fire anyone just budgeted very much . I own a daycare and saw the warning of 08 by seeing parents getting laid off , grand parents watching grand kids . So my business suffered because of this . I see the same thing happening again now but my family is prepared business may not service this time if it gets worse than 08 . But that’s ok I’ll start again
One of the best comments ever, Braveheart! Thanks for sharing your story and insights!
If I had to be homeless I would get a van and black out the windows put up curtains get a gym membership at a national chain so I could bathe. Sleep in the van at random walmarts or where ever. But for me I’m a truck driver so I would go over the road so I could make $ and the company would provide the truck. This would be the smart thing for a lot of homeless people but unfortunately most around here have substance abuse issues and wouldn’t get cleared to drive medically. The sleeper in a rig is better than sleeping on the park bench plus you will get paid and medical insurance and possibly perdiem. Shit it’s not glamorous but better than total homelessness. There are companies that will train anyone with a heartbeat and can pass random drug tests you may get a sign on bonus too.It’s not hard to drive forward backing up is a different story. I’d avoid homelessness because it’s hard to get back to living normal if your homeless for too long.
This is a good article. I will be looking in to your suggestions. thanks MOF
One of the most important highlights in this article kept me safe during my wandering times: don’t let anyone know where you sleep. EVER. That is when you are most vulnerable especially traveling alone. The other thing you learn is how to be alert even while asleep.
Something else I learned was very common edible plants. Think about it…we are surrounded by food, but most fail to recognize it. We fill our heads with celebrities of all sorts, sports statistics, and other assorted trivia when we could use our capacities for more useful pursuits. Even if you are never homeless, knowing some edible plants is a reduction to your food bill. Also being able and willing to kill your own meat is rather important.
I was out west once and passed a fellow flying a sign to raise funds for “food”. I was highly amused because the man was sitting in front of the most bounteous prickly pear cactus in fruit that I’d ever seen inside a city. When I pointed it out and proceeded to demonstrate he showed no interest.
He forgot the most important part of being homeless:
To be truly homeless you must have a felony warrant for your arrest from a State that won’t extradite.
Once you have that, you are an expert homeless person.
I had my own “where am I going to live” a number of years ago, and I was working! No way was I going to make the house payment, not even close(insane child support). I was lucky to have a small piece of wooded land and had an out house and hand pump well on it. There was no electric there and would have been very spendy to have it brought in. I got some help, sold some guns, jacked the credit card and put together a 400 square foot cabin thing. It is insulated and I got a good deal on a wood burner. This is northern Minnesota so heat is important. I lived there through a nasty winter and the next summer but the long commute to work forced me to move closer to work. That place is paid for and I hang on to it as it serves as my safety net. It also serves as a place to go if it all falls apart.
If a person can, getting a piece of rural land, just a few acres, can give you a place to go in your time of need. Of course one would need a good set of wheels and it takes some money to get something, anything built, but it would be yours and better than the so called street or them shelters. Its something to aim for, that bug out destination is a nice thing to have.
I don’t think its wise to leave a lot of stuff anywhere as there are to many thieves out there.
I was scared a couple of times and still have the good tent and other camping supplies which have been used.
I don’t thing my sports car would be good to live in though:)
I didn’t want to be a couch hop pain to anyone and a small home in the woods was a good way to calm an angry man. It worked, I love it there!
There’s more, like learning to live the old ways, I did miss a refrigerator but, more stuff to learn.
Have a wonderful night AT HOME. STU OUT.
Brave damn man. I had no idea you had to go through that. I can tel it was bad. You are correct when you advise people that a positive mind set during personal calapse is the key to getting out of it. In 2009 after the 6th shemetah, most people in Houston where I am living was in personal calapse. Mac, you mentioned this and it’s so true..personal calapse is what last us shtf- effers on this site has experienced. Luckly I was able to make it through it, and get out of it because of my experience with business..since we are now in pre calapse and we won’t be feeling the heat till January and February of 2016.. I didn’t fell the hear till March of 2009.. so I an thinking that this is what is coming up…Brave now I know what you talk the way you do.. homelessness is a real bitch, and extremely tough, and not for the weak. In and EMP, war, environmental or something much worst, city wide, nation wide, one can only imagine what the hell can go down when people with no experience of homelessness surely run out if food and water and then out on the streets.
First I lost my house, then I moved into and apartment, then calapse lucked in, here forckosures were ramping up, then I still could not make ends meet. Then it hit me, give up the apt and go homeless, reset my business, cut the overhead relocate to the north side, network work smarter. I am one of the few success stories and am proud of myself but let me not kid myself since it could happen again.. from what I have learned, is that the next time it happens if will everyone ou on the streets going balistic. Now with the bad horrific info I have learned and have personally seen the evidence that next year is when things will manifest unless divine intervention by God Almighty himself steps in, then we are as dead as f….king dead can be..sorry guys I am not as optimistic about the future, we are f….ked. When I found our that the cabal had a formula and that Deagle.com was what they plan on inplementing, that was when we, my group decided to go to the next level..
You never forget being homeless, it’d like coming from a war zone.
This is the best prepper article I’ve ever read. This man courageously faced the worst, kept his wits about him, and planned in advance, prepared himself mentally and psychologically as well as logistically. What a strong and brave person. I have been “home insecure” several times in my life, very fortunately was able to stay with various kind people each time for several months until I got employment and housing again. I lived with the threat of homelessness yet never did it occur to me to plan and prepare for homelessness as this man did. Homelessness isn’t for bums and winos anymore, it’s a prospect facing middle-aged, middle-class people. It is the catastrophic disaster that’s far more likely to happen than the Mad Max scenario preppers often envision.
This is an issue i have thought about at length,
I would love to be able to set up a bunch of tumbleweed homes and get some good folks just down on their luck and at least give them a spot that is safe and sheltered and they can help on the farm or maybe take some of the produce and hit the farmers markets etc,
But how do you discerne who the good folks are vs who the rat turds are?
I have even tried to reach out to vets, to start a comunity garden of sorts and create an outlet, gardening etc is quite theraputic and the farm feels like a safe haven, the only respondent i got to that outreach was a raging socialist who claimed to be a vet, hard time believing it,,,
Its tough stuff to deal with,,,
You could always volunteer to work at a soup kitchen of homeless shelter to be able to interact with the very people that you want to help. Then pick out the people that you feel are the most deserving and least likely to be trouble. Then you can approach them with an offer.
It is very hard to discern what people are made of these days.
Folks are so deceiving. My ex for example has learned her craft like a pro. We dated for five plus years from the time she was sixteen (about 1974) until she graduated college, early. i saw tell tell signs of her two faced character, but being in love and lust for the first time has a way of clouding the judgment. We soon married and it got worse.
Everyone that met her would always see the sweetest and most innocent acting girl on the face of the earth. The sweetness just oozed from her every being. Then when I started seeing how she had learned at an early age how to use that to her advantage, especially from her parents, then it all became shockingly clear to me. When she realized it didn’t work with me and she was not “always” getting her way, I saw the most deceptive, two=faced, and two timing, spirit of Jezebel to have been manifest in someone near and dear to me. She could stay over at work on Friday and fuck her boss man, hoping for a raise or promotion, and then sit in church on Sunday as if she were the best and sweetest christian on the face of the earth. Everyone loved her and behind their backs she ridiculed and laughed at them, and belittled them.
She never admitted her whoredoms and I never let on that i knew about them, for years, until my daughter was old enough to spend time with me on weekends and we divorced.
Kula, it is hard to see through people sometimes and what is really ticking inside them. is it real, is it fake, is it true compassion and appreciation, or is it just words?
I have always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt, and most times I have been disappointed and stabbed in the back. It got to the point that i became jaded and wanted no more friends or acquaintances. And then, i prayed for an answer from God…WHY? My reply came in as clear as a bell from my Heavenly Father….”That’s your job. It is what I ask of you to bring out the best and worst in people, so i can see who they really are.”
That is why i sometimes refer to myself as the “rope bearer”.
Definitely not a preacher, but teacher and rope bearer. I try to feed people just enough rope/information, to see if they use it to help pull others out of the muck, or use it to hang themselves.
Ever notice how many troll types come out of the woodwork trying to run me down and mock and accuse me? They are pulling out more rope, and it is not for helping others with.
Just doing my job.
Thats the worst part, one guy i met was ok when he was sober or clean, but as soon as he got loaded it was real obvious why he ended up homeless. Its sad, for myself i trust people less and less. And honestly i like people less and less because they all seem to just be off, not all but more often than not. I also find my level of tolerance dropping by the day.
When feeding rope and you see its more often used to hang i tend to conserve on rope and not give any.
I want to add a few suggestions:
Cloud storage for all Internet storage. Your resume, your contacts, you could even upload encrypted things like copies of your dl, bank info etc. It’s always available with an Internet connection.
Google Voice for phone. It has voicemail, you can receive texts and it’s all online. You can have it forward calls to other numbers, so if staying at a friends place or you have a few bucks for a prepaid cell, you can always just give people your Google voice number and pick up the call wherever you forward it.
Events can and will happen that are out of your control. This will require adaptation. Here we share a synopsis of events in the hope that those who are now, or are going to be, hit with challenging times.
I suspect, as ‘Obamavilles’ spring up everywhere (I estimate a hundred million living in such places in the US alone) when the debt economy collapses. What will happen is this: human harvesting. The wealthy are not stupid and see a ‘slave opportunity’ when they see it. The wealthy (Trump etc.) will start to build barracks and camps to house the poor and dispossessed. These places will offer food and healthcare but you will have to submit to living in military-style conditions. Old notions of freedom will be gone. And people will choose this over life outside the camps.
Other entrepreneurs will do what we see in some of the ‘legal’ brothels today: the prettiest women will be housed in these places but will have to work hard to be taken care of. At present, this generally happens to women from Eastern Europe and Asia: look to see this be the norm for women from many Western countries. This will have a knock-on effect on beauty: in short, most women will have to substantially up their game if they want to survive. Just look at any country where there is no welfare system: women have to look really good. They can’t afford to turn into fat slobs, or not dress their best. Suddenly, the US will go from having majority obese and ugly, poorly dressed women, to having a rapidly growing population of hot women with great fashion sense. Those women will thrive.
My grandson moved back in with us a couple of months ago. He got a job 30 miles away and we were all happy for him.
The only problem was, we had to move our old singlewide moble to make room for the new double wide that we had been saving for.
My husband and I had planned on staying 90 miles away at our vacation cabin. We are both retired and felt it would not be a problem. Until our grandson came home to live with us.
This ment that he could not live at the cabin because of the 200 + miles that he would have had to drive daily. So he has been living in his car parked on our 20 acres for the past 2 1/2 months. It looks like it might be a couple of more weeks before we can move back.
hubby and I are proud of our grandson for surviving something that would have normally scared the crap out of him. He has grown a lot in the past 2 months and It has helped him mature into a better person.
He has been saving to get his own place. And with the price of getting into his own apartment, it looks like he will be staying with us for 3 or 4 more months.
Hubby and I were so glad that we could be there for our grandson, even if it was just a place to park his car and do his laundery every week.
We are going to have to get tough and stay tough for the future that is coming.
Gonna be like the Waltons all over again. Three generations living together under one roof. Nothing wrong with it.
Agree Patriot,why so many 3 family homes,multiple generations to help with kids/elderly while still having also a sense of privacy,nothing wrong with it at all.
A cheap and compact way to stay clean is get a plastic tub of baby wipes and pour a half a bottle of rubbing alcohol in it. A few wipes a day break wipe away the real funk and bacteria on all the important places. Cut a water bottle in half lengthwise and it makes an excellent shaving system that uses little water. Because it is long lengthwise you can shake the razor back and forth to clean it.
As I’ve said before, you MUST plan ahead.
It’s no good waiting and hoping or drinking some “Hopium” and pretending it’s all ‘doom and gloom’
It’s 6000+ years of human history repeating itself YET again.
The best solution is to buy a high roof campervan or motorhome fully optioned with gas, solar, refrigeration, sleeping etc WELL BEFORE SHTF..OR… you are seriously screwed.
With such a ‘home’, your living expenses crash to SFA.
No mortgage, no rent, power, water, rates etc etc.
Just monthly food and petrol.
You’d be surprised how good muesli/yoghurt/chilli powder and ginger tastes is and is !! That’s what I came up with, and it’s cheap, nutritious and filling and only needs a fridge.
Best of luck people – I don’t know how much time we all have left, but it may only be weeks.
You are right about many things, RocketMan.
And i agree, it definitely will be just weeks for some to have a shtf day, week, or year. In fact, many will “buy the farm” before this time next year, and not be spiritually prepared.
I have said many times that the dominoes of the collapse can start at anytime, but that does not mean I am predicting an apocalyptic event in the short term.
I know many disagree, but i base my future plans on “what if” a grid down scenario came tomorrow. I base my total preparedness of a personal shtf moment for any day, and have planned spiritually for that.
As far as a nationwide collapse and shtf living for millions, I think many prophetic events still need be fulfilled. However; i do believe before this time next year, some catastrophic event will happen in USSAG that takes out thousands and I mean more than the 9/11 event. In my heart of hearts, i believe God has removed his mantle of protection from this vile and filthy nation, as a whole.
True believers are the only ones carrying that dome of divine protection. That is not to say that they will not be affected by what comes upon the earth, for the rain falls on the just and unjust alike, but, it does mean they, God’s anointed ones, will have a dome of protection that the gates of hell cannot penetrate.
BTW, the mobile BO thing will only work for so long “if” we are hit by and EMP or if there is another extreme case of gas rationing. Having to be on the roads to acquire fuel, in any shtf situation makes people a moving, and eventually, a stationary, “target”.
Get a cargo van or minivan spray paint the inside of the nessesary Windows black. Move it only when you have too.Walk whenever possible . Park in large motel parking lots. Keep it clean . Join gym for showers.If friends or family park in front of their house .And stay out of their hair. So no one knows your their or your working on your computer . Ex company van is best .looks like your a repair man .put ladder on roof rack .
On the Res, extended family relationships are a great buffer to homelessness. Those who have no place to sleep, are usually those with anger-management issues or have pickled their brains with drugs or alcohol, and even those can usually get a place to sleep. Someone with some skills, such as car or appliance repair; who help out around the house, can find a place. Families with homes and children are glad for cousins who help. And most have one or three. It is third world here, and families remain close. Every old woman is everyone’s Grandma. They have title to tribal grazing lands, and are very well treated. Needless to say, the homeless are men.
The Indians are everyone’s guides to escaping the white man’s slavish culture. The Indians are already in “shtf”–have been so since “treaty” days but, falling back on what kept them before white man came. White man had better take note of the Indians and follow their ways, if white man wants to survive his own destruction.
Excellent article,we have been inundated with why you may become homeless but few on how to plan/get thru homelessness.To Mona/Kula and others who have tried to help others,Kudos yo you,this is a part of the solution.To those that found themselves homeless here at least had jobs and could see a way out,can’t imagine being in that spot without the hope.I put up a friend for basically a year on coach,he did time in the sandbox and was fucked up mentally,at times a real pain but couldn’t turn him away,things have gotten better for him.Any who can try and help your friends,a few extra bucks perhaps contribute to a good charity after checking them out.
This is one of the best articles here,lets all contribute a idea to help.Mine is,while your life doing well help others if you can.That said,see many bank abandoned homes,check the ones in your area now and if necc. squat for shelter.I am not advocating stripping the copper ect.,just use as shelter and leave cleaner then you found it.Millions of bank homes owned by the taxpayers empty,banks won’t sell cheap because as long as on books with last loan that is the value,not the true value when sold for what you get for it.
I do not care why someone becomes homeless,they need help including perhaps the reason they are homeless:i.e. addiction/mental illness ect.,it could happen to anyone here but if we all help a little well,you know the phrase,”The smalls add up!”.
If you still have the funds another alternative is an RV or a van. During the great depression a lot of families had to be mobile to follow the work. Being able to take your home with you would be a great advantage.
I have noticed that a few times, people have talked about turning beautiful women into sex slaves or sex objects. I find that repulsive. Do preppers actually think about doing that to women? There will be women who enter the “Oldest Profession” but to force it on them as a “paying your way” kind of deal. Hmmmmmm.
Women will have it hard enough, Why place more crap on them.
If you have ever been to sea for a length of time you will find there are no ugly women.
Had them all, sling…big, little, short and tall, thanked god for them all….and loved ’em everyone.
That was all before aids was in every town in America.
About the worst thing a man could get was treatable with antibiotics.
Thank God, i never slept with nasty women and the only thing i ever caught was a male type yeast infection, that i got from my first wife….that ole huzzy whore.
Sad to see many of those who espouse a close relation with Christ are the same in other posts who speak vileness about women. Christ is clear on this. Can’t claim a moral high ground because I am a sinful man and have told my share of jokes that are bad. But I am repentant and try my best. Hope others feel the same. If not, good luck to them
Not encouraging this behavior (I hugely respect women for their intelligence and hard work) it is just reality and something preppers need to think about. This is based on fact: look both at history and look around the world where there is crisis and system failure: women fair the worst in this situation. Women have a lot at stake if the current system fails and we are in shtf.
For anyone thinking they are gonna have all the free sex they can handle, they need to be careful and pack plenty of condoms.
America now has the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the industrialized world.
Currently 110 million persons are carrying a sexually transmitted disease. There are now 20 million new cases being reported every year. Aids is on the rise due to increased activity by homos and bi-sexuals.
That perfect looking young female that is straight, may have just recently had sex with a bi-male, and did not know he was, and she is now a carrier of aids.
A little quickie nookie may get someone a quickie trip to the morgue. Just sayin’.
Being old and homeless is far worse than being young and homeless. I think everybody should live in decent shelter for a very low cost. Basic shelter is unavailable because of greed and rules and regulations. Sheltering ones self has become a huge ripoff. A world gone mad. Nobody asked to be born.
About ten years ago, I helped found Harbor House, in Colorado Springs. The target population was the group referred to as “frequent fliers” in the hospital ERs. These folks, almost all men, used to be called “winos” or “public inebriates”. One surprise for us: almost all the clients who came forward for the program were over 40 years old. After looking at how things worked it became obvious – in your twenties, it can be a big party, most of the time. It is doable in your thirties. It starts to suck in your forties and you start to think about getting off the street. Part of the problem is that our “charities” are providing an array of freebies and handouts. Colorado Springs is known as a ” good town to be homeless in”. As we now have so many agencies, each with CEOs, vice-presidents, directors, supervisors and other high-paid staff; there is a real resistance to changing the status quo.
The people I know today that are homeless are retirees who sold their home and bought a camper to travel the country. They go up north for summer and go down south in winter.
An advantage is the have no mortgages and no home bills/taxes to pay. They camp at primitive campsites in on the lakes that are free or with senior discount of $8 a day with million dollar views, a swimming beach, fishing piers, boat ramps, some privacy, a well, and regularly cleaned outhouses.
Disadvantages is hooking it up to move and traveling with low fuel mileage. Must have power like a generator or solar panels.
When I get older I may want to become homeless, seems like a nice way to get out of paying high lakeshore property taxes and have all the amenities with it.
It comes at a price, woogie.
Many, many, of those homes on wheels have and will still be death traps on the highways. I’ve seen it many times with crash and burn scenarios, whereby the elderly travelers were trapped and burned to a crisp.
Even if it is not that dire, the highways are now deathtraps and accidents waiting to happen.
Over-population is the main problem and then the list just gets longer and longer. The more miles one drives, the higher the risks become.
Just practice broken English with a few Spanish words, go to social services, tell them you are fleeing Guatemala, and get your free housing, free medical, free education, free cell phone, and free food stamps.
De Oppresso Liber.
I’ve seen homeless with a little hustle frequenting camp grounds. They are super cheap, and often have good shower etc facilities. If you are homeless with a car you risk being towed and losing your car if you pick the wrong place to sleep.
The comment about most homeless being addicts or nut jobs has never been less true. There are massive numbers of homeless unrelated to drugs or insanity these days. I new a woman who after recovering from a car accident found herself homeless, while she was hospitalized for several months, all her belongings were discarded or sold. Her employer terminated her and healthcare was cut off. When the Hospital finally discharged her she had only the bloody clothes they took off her with scissors to wear, and a half million in debt. She had been long ago evicted from her apartment. She ended up in a shelter and couldn’t get a job if she gave out her real address (the shelter) for an interview. A chance ride from a stranger while hitch hiking to a job interview found a helpful person who said use my address and phone. I’ll call and transfer messages to you at the shelter. She had a college education, within a month she had a job, within a month she had a car within another month she had a place to live. All because one person, a total stranger took a tiny chance. 80% of Americas bankruptcies are due to personal medical disasters.
I see homeless on the move near me, we have a couple US highways, homeless on foot can’t use interstates. It’s fall and all the people I see with back packs on foot or bicycle are moving South. The cold sucks. There’s a lesson here, if you are going to be a refugee, be a smart refugee, go where the weather won’t kill you, and there is food.
oh man, the ego’s on here, all the it wont happen to me’s and the i did this and that so i wont be homeless stuff. i bought this and that so never will i be homeless stuff. i will bet you any of you that there is something out there which might just put you into the homeless category. like i said never ever say never. a lot of you in the comments section should go read the bible some more. while ego isnt used in the bible, pride and humbleness is. so go ahead and brag( that is what your doing when throwing your purchased preps in everyone’s faces) but some day you might have to eat those prideful words so use plenty of catsup. thanks MD Creedmore for the article very informative and i bet helpful to few on here. don
All the blustering and supposed prepping for defending one’s home from invaders and then…just meekly surrendering it to some crooked bankster or such who has a mere piece of paper but, a bunch of thug cops to enforce it at gunpoint????
Seeing how society (who voluntarily comply with the elites and their powers-that-be who exploit them) treats people, why would anyone want to “rejoin” or even stay with them, for that matter????