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What will you do if you become homeless? Reality Check
14 years ago
| Blue Label
I hope I get some thoughts from you on this! First of all, are most of us "one or two paychecks" away from homelessness? Are we financially insecure to the point of not even wanting to think about this question? Or do we havings savings in the bank, health insurance, etc...(but those are no guarantee, either- if you read all the "homelessness can happen to anyone!" posts that report unexpected fires, floods, etc. I know that I myself was living so close to the edge for so long, I didn't have the mental "energy" to think about things getting worse. I should have had that energy, it turns out. Anyway, what WOULD you do if you were to become homeless? Do you assume you can turn to family members- that they'd have the space or willingness to take you in? What will you do if it turns out that not one family member will help? Would you put your belongings in storage? Will you have enough money to keep paying for that storage? Do you have a car you can sleep in, and a place to park it where people can't disturb you? Are you physically healthy enough to walk around for hours on concrete? Do you have a free email address, like hotmail, yahoo or other, on the internet so that you can use a public library and still communicate with people? Do you know any martial arts to defend yourself on the street? How would you cope? Are you prepared for the possibility that some "friends" you had before becoming homeless will turn out to be fairweather friends after you become homeless? Are you prepared for the fact that, even if you find a place on the streets, you are ALWAYS subject to harassment by the police and other authorities, or attack by juvenile gangs or thugs? Are you ready to experience how it feels to become an instant "leper"? (and God Bless lepers!!!) Are you read for people yelling out of their cars at you "Get a Job!" and they never once ask if you HAVE a job (which happened to me, and YES I WAS WORKING!!) What would you do if you came down with a high fever and still had to sleep outside in the heat and cold? Where and how could you wash yourself and keep yourself and your clothes clean? If a hurricane comes to your town- if an earthquake or tornado comes to your town- if war wipes out your town or village- if fire sweeps your apartment building- how would you cope? If you're sharing the cost of an apartment with someone, and that someone can't pay their share- can you avoid being evicted? Do you have Identification papers (driver's license, birth certificate, passport, etc) to help you secure assistance? And of course, things such as a private mail box in a mail center, library cards (so you can access the Internet, among other things), and many other resources? Are you prepared for the shock of realizing that there is not one place where it is "legal" for you to be anymore? That you're going to always be told to "move on"?
Your Right I won't be prepared!?
14 years ago

Reality is that having been homeless, it scares the hell out of me becoming homeless – again.


I do not have a car or truck (lost the truck 2 years ago – during homeless).

Besides unexpected fires, or natural disasters, UNEXPECTED friendly?

landlords can be a hideous way of becoming homeless.


Like the above, Harmony says “I didn't have the mental "energy" to think about things getting worse”. That energy is depression, it is denial, that energy is by the wayside when

you are in the throws of poverty, to homelessness.


There are not family members who would help (in my case).  I would put all my things in storage.  I would make that storage payment first, being on a disability check. My tiny bit

of material ‘things’ would get paid for first.


Sadly, I truly understand fair-weather friends.  I would not have the energy to walk all day, nor would I like to stay at the local Salvation Army, their regulations rules are all changed, the food they serve is not healthy.


When you do not have a house or apartment to pay for, the foodstamps (here in Texas) are reduced to about $10.00 a month – from $120.00 when you are on a string with elec; phone; rent; all kinds of bills… yep if have bills with a SS check you can get foodstamps.

No bills to pay then you have to use the small amount of SS income for food AND trying to find a resident.


Cope…coping? I believe there should be better facilities in Texas for homeless, we are in

Austin, the 4th meanest city towards homeless.  Coping should be an agenda for the city counsels to create!? Homelessness is a blind bumping into non-qualified endless entities that you hoped would help.


When I walked those concrete sidewalks no one yelled at me “get a job”,  I am female…

the “yells” were how much for sex (that is typing it nicely).


Harmony is right; there is not one legal place for you to be when you are HOMELESS.



Dixie, holy cow!
14 years ago
I mean... ten dollars' worth of food stamps??? Does Texas figure people are just going to go out and really live it up if they get enough for food?... how long is that ten dollar's worth supposed to last? a month? a week? Only thing I could see buying is a whole lot of beans, rice, and tap ramen... and how's one supposed to cook that stuff on the street when homeless? And the food at shelters... ick, most of it.. at a time when we are the most stressed, physically, emotionally, and mentally... we get...*drum roll* STARCH!! starch, starch, and more starch! I suppose starch is better than nothing... but that's like saying malnutrition is better than nothing... we get sick from it, nonetheless.. "Homelessness is a blind bumping into non-qualified endless entities that you hoped would help." you said it!!
Wow!? Reckon...
14 years ago


all that starch is the mana of the govenment that keeps their sheep in attendence?!

For the love of waking from a bad dream, it is an honest truth!

When you have bills to pay in Texas, AND receive SS, you will receive a larger amount of foodstamps...of course even more if you have children.

When you do not have a place to live foodstamps are reduced to $10. a month or more if you have children.

I have to say I remember reading another post of the Salvation Army in another state...where the homeless cannot AFFORD to stay there, that is the plan, Stan!??

Here they are charging a minimul of $7.00 a night, to get locked down after 7pm; served 2 meals a days that I SWEAR I WOULD NEVER FEED TO ANYONE NOR MY DOG.

There is tons of donations in food from the Wholefoods Market, that is good food... the staff gets to eat at seperate times with SALADS, real fruit... WHY ARE THE CLIENTS LESS HUMAN THAN STAFF?

Yea, I fear homeless, badly. It really is not fair. It is not something we buy or put on. Homeless is as circumstance as the natural disators we all know of.

I am giving us a I think we all need good smelling flowers! I even think we should live in a "bowl full of cherries"

It'll happen in another               


14 years ago
i have become homeless and i know the reality of it can be quite simple. Several years ago i bought a home and paid it off with hard work and scaraficing. i ran into hard times with the IRS and had to take out a loan against my home. Things got bad finacially and recovering was hard. i let my property taxes slide twice. i also got 2 payments behind in the loan against my home. i had no one to turn to, or no where. My wages barely made ends meet. Needless to say i lost my home. i struggled for months but in the end i became homeless. i did not qualify for low income apartments. i could not afford rent however. i did not know what to do or where to turn. My brother owned 2 acres of land with his home. He help me to get a camper and allowed me to park it in his drive way. i went from a 4 bedroom home to a camper barely big enough to turn around in. i lost or sold anything of value. Still by the end of the month i was going to the free store to eat. My grandfather once said to me... If you are hungry and you beg me for help i will help you get food. i was homeless , i was hungry... i could not beg. i learn that stomach cramps go away and become a dullness inside. even homeless people retain some pride however. It all started because the IRS said i made to much money one year and a few months later... i lost my job. The IRS does not care. The interest rate keeps compounding. i am educated. i am a hard worker. i would have never thought i could become homeless. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!!!
14 years ago

Having been there too i feel for you. In Ohio...

you can not get assisstence if you are entitled to unemployment. So everything starts there. even if you are not entitled you must file and prove it to them. As a single person i was aloted $26 a month food stamps, and a little over $200 a month assisstance. i had to pay $100 a month where i lived and utilities.

i also still have no car, who can afford gass or insurence.

it makes working a job harder, and even closer to homelessness.

i did find a way out, but it is not one for everyone.

i found land in the country on land contract for next to nothing. ( of course there are dirt roads and nothing on the land too) . i parked my camper there. i struggled until i could afford running water. i brought in bottle water to drink and bathed ( all year round) in a stream that flows there of natural water. i finally got electric and had to learn to run the line myself. A year ago i got a mobile home for next to nothing. It had been in a flood. i have an outside water tap and a bathroom now. i am slowly replacing floors and fixing the mobile home. i always pay my darn taxes as soon as i get them even if i don't eat!

i suppose by some standards i am not much better than homeless now. i lack many of live's comforts. i am not hungry though, my place is dry, ( though not always warm ~lol~)

i learn that i can do whatever is needed ... there are no handymen or plumbers or such in my life. i also have learn that when you are blessed enough to have, you take greater care. You put away what you can for tomorrow you may have not.

It is quite ironic....
14 years ago
the double-standard this government has created.I have been homeless at one point in life,where i literally jumped from park to park taking birdbaths,walked all day everyday.I found more good food behind grocery stores in dumpsters than in the soup line.i lied to the state(with exception to the homeless situation!),so that i could get food stamps.i was beat up by police and arrested for"fitting the description".Thiese circumstances have made me a real visionary.i am always told i am imagining things.i just laugh.i am always prepared to lose everything i own,because of my taking a stand for liberty,freedom,and justice,let alone times i even wish i could get away from places where everything is privately was just on news about refugees making it over here with no problem.i dont think most people realize the actuality.we might be needing to old movies like the original "mad max" to come to terms with that part of reality.i cant argue any points anymore,because these events,though i am strengthened by them,make me a most hateful person that will not think twice about going back to the only life i know most times,street life!drugs and alcohol is the escape for homeless people.some homeless people make more money than some of the working class.they do things they wouldnt normally do.they find a balance and stay with it,squatting and hustling to just get thru the day,and maybe stay alive thru the night.our government,loves capitatlizing on "ghetto"mentality.communism and fascism is in no way unfair.but neither is democracy.i say none can be trusted once you lose everything you own.homeless people lose patience with God,man,and beast,and start to become that which they still sort of proves the point!!PEACES,ET
Edward T
14 years ago
i refuse to blame myself for what the system makes us. True i have done things i am not proud to survive. In truth i would them again. If you have not been hungry for long periods of time you do not know what it is like. So to condemn a person for stealing food is easy to do. However by the same token i have seen well to do, religious, women who ran the free store go through and pick out the better things to take home. They thought it was the least owed to them for their work. Am i worse than they were? i think not. i had pride. i bathed everyday... in rest are sinks, yes, even toilet water. In rivers when i could do so. In Florida i picked oranges to eat. i really do not like oranges now. The thing is that we learn to do what we must to survive. Am i bitter? Yes. America is the first to give to those in need. Why then should we be hungry or homeless here? Why are we looked down on? i think that to often you get out something what you put into it. i don't see anyone putting much into the homeless people. Will i do what it takes to survive... you bet i will. i think that the time will indeed come when many will learn to do the same. Prices are going up, gas is going up, America lives on credit. If we hit a major depression again who out there will survive? Who knows how? How many people will be able to afford their homes then? Where will they turn? i got out. i have a place to grow food, fish, deer. i can hunt and fish. i have nothing fancy. i have learn to not become attached to things. There is no crime in being a survivor, the crime is in needing to be one in the wealthiest nation in the world.
Lonni and Edward
14 years ago
I am getting so much from listening to you both! There's nothing like trading notes- nothing quite like telling how it really is. THANK YOU.
UP Here
14 years ago

Our homeless problem got really bad after Free Trade. We also had a provincial governemtnn theat crated the homeless problem, high rates of rent etc. He is history of course but it was created by the Government agenda. This way a person will work at any job. This is apparently good for the economy. The Agenda that was followed was the Ameican Agenda. To the Letter. It is now being reversed. It is also a form of slavery. Work for welfare is a form of slavery.  Here they are now Called Volunteers work for your welfare or starve and become homeless. Volunteer my ass. That is a slave. The money one gets per month will not cover your rent and food . So youalso get sick from stavation. Then your in the Health care system. The cost of the agenda is actually futuristcaly quite staggaring. The Governments brag they are saving money when in actuality it is costing much more. The phama companies make a fortune however. People will do anything for money. Even become crimminals. The agenda causes so much harm it would take all day to explain it. Hitler created the Workfare program many moons ago. Take it from that how nice it is. People on welfare or who are homelss are treated like white trash, slaves, the lowest of low and the governments use them to make profit as do private comapanies. Loads of profit in the poor crisis. Private comapanies especially make a fortune. The rest of the people always jump on the hate the poor bandwagon. They cost so much to take care of etc. When in actuality the Governments cause the problem. Always. It is done deliberatly. George Bush has spent enough on the Iraq war to feed the starving in the world for seven years. The US government also created a lot of the poverty in poor countires. You See everyone pays for the War Machine. Bush has sqandered away 5 trillion dollars since he took power. Of course the companies that make the guns bombs missels etc are doing just fine and so are the share holders.  His daddy has shres in some of those companies as does his frineds. Haliburton is also a benifator as are other corperations. The people oif the US and every other country in the World will pay for His war and the select few will profit from it. That is the Way It Works

Canadian Connections

Has Stuff On Free Trade World Trade and Debt Crisis It's very enlightning. The ? Is How did it all happen? How to create poverty?

Why they do it? etc. It is to make profit.
14 years ago
I to have been homeless, And I am well educated.  So are a lot of War Vets in the USA.And loads of them are homeless too. Go figure ah.
14 years ago

Try reading some of the Wealfare statistics and see what you find. You have to be 200% below the poverty line to get welfare. What the bleep does that mean. I read more government garbage that makes absolutly no sence then one can shake a stick at. Even the statistics for the population of the US makes no sence. I don't know who does the math but they sure are not good at it.

They fudge the numbers is what I figure. I know math and that is not how it works.  90% percent white 35% black 25% hispanic 14 % aboriginal. Not exact numbers but it really makes no difference their numbers added up to more then 100%. That is impossible. I read the stupid thing a few time and came to the conclusion an idiot wrote the report. Just about every statistical  stuff I wrote didn't really add up. Math was one of my best subjects in school.  I even taught the teacher stuff. He got mad as he-- but oh well. He had to admite ai was right in the end as I proved it to him. Even finding stuff on the Government sites is hard as so much stuff has been privatised to other companies. Or they just won't publish the actual facts. They in essence LIE> Surprise Suprise. Work Fare is a nightmare. But the way it is written it sounds so pretty and helpful. Just like getting candy canes at Christmans time. More like getting Cained in China. Or being whipped by a slavers whip. Amazing how they can make it sound so nice. I have been on workfare as well. Up here it was not so bad as the USA however. WE didn't even come close to torturing people as they do. It messes with your mind like you wouldn't belive. Makes you mentally ill. It in my opinion is a form of brainwashing. Nothing less. Been there done that got the Tee Shirt. I have walked in the shoes of many. I can judge quiet well. To actually do it is to know. I know!

14 years ago
Elsie, I hear you- nothing about the system makes sense, unless one is to view it all as a form of psychological harassment and torture of the poor. My friend, Kenneth Churchill, is the author of a book called "American Homeless Land Model"..and he said something which I wind up quoting frequently because it is so to the point: "An underpaid worker that cannot afford housing is an industrial slave." And that's the way they seem to want us! As overworked, exhausted, malnourished, junk-fooded slaves who have just enough energy left at the end of a work day to turn on a TV and be sedated with beer and sit-coms. The amount of money Bush has spent to go kill people overseas is appalling. For the life of me, I can not understand the priorities of Bush or his NeoCon cronies except to say that they are very much anti.poor, anti life...
It can happen..It has happened
13 years ago

Just look at Katrina....yes, one or even an entire family may become homeless in a heartbeat, and if there are limited resources and no one to help, then you find yourself homeless. Be prepared..keep at least $500 or more saved up for an emergency, keep in contact with close friends and family members, for example, my Mom says I always have a room if worse comes to worse..I survived months on the street, being a Vet helped little except for the fact I could survive ok outside and defend myself..In Miami we slept on an Island under the Venetian Causeway that was segregated..Whites and Latins only..Afro Americans had their own place on the mainland..there were frequent murders and robberies among the homeless and racism was also a factor, this was not "civilized" society, this was the law of the jungle. Most of us suffered from mental illness or mood disorders, along with alcohol and substance abuse and because I had overcome the fear and contacted good friends who cared about me, I survivied, doubtless many did not.

Many I met when I was homeless preferred to stay that way and I respect their own judgement, a few found their way out and many have perished along the way. No "bleeding heart" ism please. Life often is not fair. When I woke up and came out of my self pity I found that it had been more than fair to me..with a little help from my friends.

VA has homeless Vets program
13 years ago
listening to you people makes me sick.  its just too scary.

denial is all that keeps me goin.

i have one month and one more loan.

if no one buys my house by January, for more than i owe on it...  i just don't know.
anyone wanna buy a microwave?  a 21" monitor?  a queensize bed?

i heard someone say here that war vets are homeless, but the VA has a homeless vets program.  i may get to know it firsthand.

best of luck to you all, i wanna try that trailer in the country thing...

this is just too depressing.  bewell-m
13 years ago
I only have a minute to respond to this and unable to give my full time as this topic so deserves!

It's very strange.  Almost all the women I speak to about this have the same matter their social, financial, economical status today...the same reply over & over is "I'm afraid I'll become a bag lady on the streets"  This seems to be most womens matter how well set they are today.  They are afraid they are one step away from being a 'bag lady" on the streets.  This thought frightens them and the fear is so real!
Not one of the men I spoke with has this type of fear...

13 years ago

"First of all, are most of us "one or two paychecks" away from homelessness? Are we financially insecure to the point of not even wanting to think about this question?"

unfortunately we are always living one paycheck away from being homeless as well. my husband is a firefighter/paramedic. and while they are already grossly underpaid for what they do, last year the city he works for cut the budget and eliminated all overtime and raises. that cut a huge chunk out of our yearly budget. (since the firefighters are paid peanuts for their work anyway, overtime was the only way to semi 'make ends meet.' i wish they would give us peanuts for his pay. at least that is one thing i wouldn't have to worry about affording ... groceries.)

while i praise God that we have not been homeless and do have a roof over our head and food on the table, i also do not take for granted anything i have. i know it can all be taken away just as easily and as fast as it was blessed upon me.

what would i do should that happen? i'm not sure. i know we have family that could take us in for a little while, but not sure they would have the room or resources long-term.

i do know that i would leave things in God's hands ... He hasn't left my family yet ... but i'm not sure how we would handle the situation we all fear.

13 years ago

I am facing homelessness soon, and I admit I am terrified to death of it...

I could take the choice to live with my family,, but my family keeps trying to convince people I am not able and not willing to work. So to me the choice is go homeless at the age of 26.. or later on go homeless around 40-50- or whenever my parents pass on...

It is difficult to get a job at 26 with only volunteer work on your record and no paying work.. So I am really struggling.

I also do not have my driver's licence, and only have 10 dollars on me... I been trying to quickly make up the rest of my dreamcatchers to try to sell some of them... I have a friend who will take me in for 30 days.. but they live in Madison, Wisconsin Every time I returned home from there I ended up with horrible nightmeres.. so I am not to thrilled about going there...

... My plans Are:

Get a UPS Mailbox

Get a Pre-paid Cell phone

Get Storage

Keep using the internet from the library...

My Sister offered to let me store my books are her apartment.. until I can afford storage, I am going to see if it alright to use her mailing address and phone number too... As far as shelter.. I know I can not live there.. But maybe if I got to Madison I can find work in Madison...

I'll see how this goes..

Here in Wisconsin Ramen noodles were priced 15 cents at woodmans.

I use the online mypoints program.. I can redeem points for burgerking certificates. If a person does not spray their yard for pesticides and would allow me to in the spring and summer. I would harvest the edible weeds from their yard. Dandelion Greens, Clovers, etc. Most of the time in the summer months.. I eat one regular meal a day, and live off edible greens...

Find Free Storage..

Make new friends.. explain the situation.. offer to help them out in repayment of food or items.

Keep Job hunting..  

Use the groups to give away belongings for free and recieve belongings for free...

Sell things good enough to sell at Consignment or Thrift stores, and encourage people to visit the store... As you walk down the street from it, and see them...

Get a banking account with either a check card, or a credit card. Then if you need to you could purchase items online from a bank or a library, or a friend's house... As well as have a save place to store what you have of money... To save up for a home.

Focus on needs and not wants..

Food is a Need

Shelter is a Need..

I run an online store through So I will once in awhile remind all my friends of the store being there if they want to purchase any items to help out. ..

Help others who are in the same or simular situation out.

Lets say you are both on food programs and you both got items you did not eat. Trade items with eachother...

Ask people for permission to have the coupons they do not want.

Make good use of transportation.

I know using Yucca Root.. Alot of people in our area grow yucca plants and they take over, if you ask they may let you dig up a root or dig up one for you.

Strip the root clean of dirt. Cut it up put it in a empty water bottle, full it with a little water shake it up really hard, it will make some natural foam its not really thick and does not last long. But it can be used as soap, and shampoo. In the summer I enjoy using Yucca root as shampoo. I am not sure if it works for all hair types. I am going to dig for an old container somewhere, and see if I can come up with a small portable garden system. Mainly for onions and Dandelions... Maybe I can put dirt in old panty hoses.. and stick a green onion in there to carry around...

.. I feel totally unprepared..

- Dana C. L.


Survival is what it's about
13 years ago

I have been homeless on and off for 30+ years now, I am now housed in a complex that has apts. that have to go to homeless people (just a few of them).

I do not fool myself, I still have the same problems that kept me in the cycle of homelessness and I work on those issues, but I may just become homeless again at some point in my life. I always feel that I am waiting for the other shoe to fall and out me back on the streets and under that damn tree.

What will I do.......? Survive, just like I have done all my life.

What Would I Do If I'm Homeless
12 years ago
Fortunately, there's a YWCA, a Catholic Worker community, a Center for the Homeless (which provides shelter & other services) and a Hope Rescue Mission (which also provides shelter & services). I happen to be friends with the Catholic Worker people and eat dinner with them quite frequently. They consider me part of the community & want me there more often, so I'm going to sart going on weekends. I'm still on the lookout for the P-38 which was given to me so I can practice opening cans with it.I did get one from James Clarke & the paper was partially torn so I may use that one if need be. I'm probably one Social Security check from being homeless since I get only $633 per month & am on a tight budget. paula
My Reality
12 years ago
I have never had to sleep on the streets but once the holidays are over my dad's good grace will be finished and I'll have to leave. where? I don't know. I read this post a while back when I wasn't so close to homelessness.  I'm really scared Because I am not alone I have a 20 month toddler and I'm pregnant.  I am really scared mostly of the cold of New England and any harrasment I may receive.  I feel like I have a ticking time bomb in my hands...
time to dust off this topic
11 years ago
for everyone who's joined this form recently- this is an interesting question and situation to consider.
This is a good topic...
11 years ago
I have been homeless...I have done it differently each in the woods, under bridges, in a car..I was able to do some couchsurfing and even went to work after hours to sleep/use the shower at the few jobs that was a possibility... Dumpster diving becomes the only option for food...especially when, if you can get assistance, you can often only get $10 month in food stamps, as someone already mentioned...this happens in OR as well...and I imagine other states....and food boxes are not practical for the homeless...much of it is perishable or reuiqres a kitchen for preparation... I don't know if I can do it again...I may be facing that possibility once again and having been just making it (and financialy sinking to survive indoors)...I really don't know if I would bother to try to do it again...poverty is depressing, working your ass off to get nowhere is frustrating...and in the end what is the point?
it's not the end of the world
11 years ago
but if you've gone through it once, you figure, you don't need to do the homeless thing any more.
This is a very eye opening topic
11 years ago
for me. I've never been even close to homelessness and I know many family members and friends who would take me in if need be.  But I do live pay cheque to pay cheque and this thread has made me realize I need to really squeeze my budget so I can save some money for emergencies (and to pay off my debt).
what i did
11 years ago
i went thru the homeless vets program to get help
If you are in France call 115
11 years ago
free phone call from a phone booth, you will get shelter for the night. At the shelter, you will see a doc or a nurse and get a hot meal and see a counselor to help you get  long term services
11 years ago
Damn, if I start to get closer to homelessness again I am gonna sell everything I own and move to france
vets are especially vulnerable
11 years ago
i did not even go through combat but i became socially isolated. the people who i work with are at risk of homelessness because of isolation. there are supports out there but in order to access them you have to be willing to look at the reasons why you became homeless. for the vets i lived with for 13 months, often the problem had involved drug and other abuse. but once you have the experience of losing your possessions, being told what to do and when to do it and not knowing whether you will have a bed to sleep in, you don't want to repeat it. that's the good thing about recovery. i get to help people avoid making the same mistakes i made.
childless adults are vulnerable, as well
11 years ago
there is all sorts of aid for families with children, people with disabilities, seniors, even vets - although it is pathetic how they are treated, however if you are without children and you do not fit into any of these other groups - THERE IS NOTHING! except $10/month in food stamps... so if you think you are gonna be homeless have a kid or injure one will help you otherwise...

This post was modified from its original form on 29 Jul, 21:25
look mom, no kids
11 years ago
i don't have any kids. my old high school sweetheart had it rough because she had children and became homeless. in the movie about chris gardner, the pursuit of happiness, the issue of personally fight for yourself and beliving in yourself was heavily emphasiszed. as i look at the vets who have gone on to college, gotten jobs, and stayed away from becoming homeless again, the common element as seemed to be a belief in yourself i've seen the same factor with nonvets. the other thing i noticed was that we looked at each person we met as someone we could learn from.
vets outreach
11 years ago
the vets center where i stayed has an outreach program that helps look for people under the freeway and other places to try and bring them out of the cold. some of the guys who came in were pretty far gone. so if you've lived out in the open like that you've probably met some vets. it's a tough way to live.
it's about time to think about this.. again..
11 years ago
I've now had a roof over my head again for almost nine years, after having been homeless twice for extended periods of time. It's cold out there tonight. It's 18 degrees Fahrenheit / -8 C. Even with a jacket stuffed with newspaper, how would I make it through this night? For me, my best thinking is more in how to prevent becoming homeless a third time. Keep things simple, pay bills, pay rent. When I go in the supermarket, I head straight towards the shopping cart filled with discounted fruits and vegetables, and see what looks best. Soft spots can be cut out of apples, and the apples can be sliced into oatmeal as it cooks.. I got a whole bag of perfectly decent oranges and enjoyed one when I came home from school today.. You know.. the truth is, right now.. it's difficult and painful to think of ever being homeless again. At sixty, I don't have quite the bounce, joie de vive and survival instincts I did of ten and fifteen years ago. Last time around, I became ill with bronchitis while homeless and almost died. I think I would have, had not a friend taken me into her home for a week so that I could recuperate.
i would like it if this site would quit screwing around with my post
9 years ago

the above post by myself was edited a few times to remove spelling mistakes..however after careful editing and previewing it has sough fit to post the undedited version completed with mad line breaks and crap spelling..aplogies everyone..filed under : doncha luv teknologi? er not really..

This post was modified from its original form on 16 Jan, 8:15

9 years ago

I remember the 'homes for votes' scandal in wetsminister, london where the conservative
leader of this council, daughter of wealthy food giant tesco..was adverse to having anyone vote
for the labour party and have either labour govt (old labour nor 'new' labour) or a labour run adverse was she and her cohorts, that a policy was drafted whereby anyone who
was considerd not wealthy enough and lived in westminister borough were basically uprooted
and dumped outside the actually MADE HOMELESS...the thinking was that only poor
people would vote labour and by gentrifying the area with wealthy elite chances were that these
wealthier people would obviously vote was called gerrymandering...the leader
buggered off abroad for a while when the scandal broke but was called back to explain and also pay
back the milions pounds used in this 'con' needlessly she got off scott free cos of her
connections..whilst the homeless she created were 'hosed out' by street using
water hoses to drive these homeless 'lazy scroungers ' away from shop doorways as they
were deterring customers and preventing good old commerce to take place in good old shows you dont need a natural disaster or a breakdown to make you
homeless..just some political snobbery eugenics can get you there...

wow 5 years later ~ update...
8 years ago

I am still not homeless (almost 7 years)

I deal with people who live at shelters, alot.


Myself, I finally after 4 years being on the list,  got into "housing"... that was a horrible mistake. You don't get to pick where "they" send you.


So I was FORCED to live in an east Austin complex that was built by military in the 50's... yep, real solid - if I had not taken the housing unit, I would have

been left homeless again.


The neighborhood to date is not integrated, drunks, crackheads beat on my windows at night - because I am white, because I don't live the way they live,

because I didn't give them money or or or


The manager of that complex told me to call the police, the police said it is

"housing"'s problem... see that is still anarea of Austin cops don't like, you

can't get a pizza delivered - yea, that kinda hood.


My rent WAS 155. per month, but for what? To be harrassed, living in a high crime area?


I have finally gotten myself out of the 'hood' into a full 1 bedroom, it is very costly.


There was not a "raise" on social security this year (2010), but the bright side is foodstamps didn't deduct the usual raise... yippie? (checks, balances)


Every month is a big stretch for me. I am old enough now, I don't want to

share my 'space' - with anyone. I have tried to help others to all sorts of demise. So I have learned lots-0-lessons.


That's my story ~~~


see ya'll back here soon


8 years ago

My story about homelessness is about to begin.  See my other post on a thread I started tonight.  I have to be out by Friday and have no place to go.  I am disabled, diabetic, with circulation problems, fibromyalgia, which is a sleep and pain disorder that is a nightmare under ordinary circumstands.  Please pray for me and my family.

8 years ago

Hello, Marie!

When I saw the post in my e-mail yesterday, I didn't realize you were the author! I just saw the unsigned message and knew I had a very short time to send a quick response to what looked like an urgent plea. *hugs* and my apologies for not saying (telephone) and writing (e-mailed post to your thread) responses directed toward you and what I already knew of your situation from quite a while back.

I saw this post this morning, and it tore at my heart. Your beautiful orchard, bearing fruit to feed your homeless neighbors, with its airplane-packed earth to hold up your wheelchair ... I'm so sorry to hear that you have to leave.


Being homeless
8 years ago

My heart goes out to you i know what it is like to be homeless. I left home at 13 and lived on and off the streets for many years. I know that you have family and want to stick together so checking ot family shelters might be your best bet, or in dramatic situations like yours the women may have to go into a woman's shelter and the men one of theirs? I am a bit confused though because if it was me I would have posted and been looking way before now. Its hard on sites like this to get help because to be honest their are just to many people who come on and try to scam money off of people who are seen as easy targets because they hurt for people and they are trying to do the Lord's work. So with that said my prayers go out to you and your family. Don't give up hope miracles do happen. Peace & Blessings

8 years ago

Thanks so much for your kindness and concern.  We have spent the last several days preparing.  Everything we need is or will be in sealable plastic tubs, labeled either for storage or to take with us to the immigrant church, where we can sleep at night in the company of people who love our family and already know us well. 


I am not the church type at all, though I am a Christian.  I never could stand to be around people who live for material possessions and judge those who are down on their luck, and don't help them, so I have not had a church for over 20 years, before this one.  These Mexican immigrants will share anything they have up to the shirt off their backs.  They have a whole different moral code than Americans.  If someone is hungry you never leave them unfed, and if they need shelter you just add one more sleeping bag on the kitchen floor. 


This is really going to help me psychologically.  I won't feel like a forgotten noboby that no one cares about.  They are people who, instead of coming to church saying, "I have it all together, and am a great asset to God," they come humbly aware of their needs, faults, and failings.  So we will not be among the holier-than-thou kind of Christians who would look down on us in our time of need. 


That's the good part.  I just don't know what I am going to do by day.  I know we will be welcome there 24-7, but this is August, and I am in great danger in 80 plus degrees.  We have a family congenital problem with heat. My youngest son died in low 90's weather and came back to life again.  (He said he looked down at his body from above the ambulance taking him to the hospital, and then woke up in his body again.) I can get a kidney infection from just a few days of 80 degree heat or less. 


So my biggest worry is how to stay cool.  The church on the mountain where we will be sleeping is outdoor, with no walls.  It will be comfortably cool at night, but very hot by day.  (It's upwards of 100 degrees here anywhere in driving distance.  Actually our van can't go more than an hour without breaking down.)  We have found a cooling center at a church here in Temecula (southern California, Riverside county, Inland Empire).  I hope it is more of a compassionate church rather than the judgemental kind.  They do specifically have a program for the homeless, so that's where we will begin looking for resources.


We've also located 2 public swimming pools.  That's important because it brings my body temperature down enough that it takes several hours to overheat again.  Basically my body does not sweat, so the heat just keeps building up because sweat removes heat from the body and I can't sweat enough to bring my temperature back down.  And unfortunately, even though over 100 people die from heat every year in California summers, if you have heat exhaustion or even heat stroke doctors rarely recognize the problem.  I'm going to continue on a different post so I don't lose this one to a possible black-out.

8 years ago

We will have to split up but will not be too far apart.  My son with Asberger's syndrome will be living in a crowded mobile home on a "rancho" with my daughter and her boyfriend, who is part of the same immigrant church and often leads the services.  Judah and Jennaya, my 23 year old son and 20 year old daughter have spent every Sunday up there, so they are comfortable with the food, dirt, chickens, bees, and cultural differences. 


I am especially happy for Judah, who has Aspergers because these people don't torment him for being different like everyone else does here in the US.  Asbergers is a high functioning type of autism.  He can talk, interact, etc. but is socially very awkward and slow and thereby often misunderstood.  But he is physically strong, loves the outdoors, and will be working with the farm workers whether paid or not. 


My youngest son Jonathan age 17 will be with my husband and I sleeping in the tiny open air church, outdoors  I will have my recliner chair, one of them can be in the hammock they have there and the other on a makeshift bed, constructed from barrels and boards.  Mexicans are incredibly resourceful when it comes to making do.  We basically will be camping out- outhouses only (what about when I'm having a heavy period?) a hose for a shower, handwashing clothes and hanging them on a clothesline, no hot water, chickens roosting above us (well hopefully not directly above) etc. I grew up in a third world country so this is all familiar to me but at 50 with fibroymalgia and in a wheelchair this will be a lot more challenging for me.  I have not camped out in 30 years. 


My biggest worry is that I get in severe pain from sitting up for more than a couple hours at a time.  If I have to sit up in my wheelchair at the cooling center (or wherever I find to go to- if I get too overheated I will head to the Winco grocery store beer cooler and get very interested in the wine lables for half an hour without buying anything) but what will I do about having to sit up all day?  (My back was smashed up on a river rafting trip and I have been disabled ever since.) There's so much to try and think of and so many problems to solve...


There is one thing I want those who believe in God to pray for (or if you don't, send energy or meditate or whatever you do instead) because a friend of ours is going to see if the person she bought a camper from will let us lease one.  We can't get into any housing because of our bad credit after losing our house.  But she says this man is always talking about trying to get rid of his campers and trailers and might let us do monthly payments without credit.  I think it's a long shot, but if it did work out, that would help so much.  (i have to even try to hope after so many things have fallen through.) 


By the way, we're not immigrants.  My ancestry goes back before the Mayflower to Benjamin Franklin's grandfather, Peter Folger, a Quaker who beleived pretty much what we do.  But these Mexican immigrants have a type of Christianity that is so much closer to what we believe than any American churches we have seen.  They listen for the Inner Light and expect to love their neighbor as themselves. 


This is going to be a great help emotionally, but I'm preparing for a real struggle physically with all my handicaps and medical limitations.  I have been hospitalized may times for kidney infections in hot weather and bronchitis in cold weather, and my body does not fight infection very well.  But I better go and continue packing.  My daughter's at the Wednesday night prayer service talking to them about our needs.  She's the main one besides me who will think of whatever needs to be thought of.  My husband's a bit spaced out and impractical.  And Judah is limited by his Asberger's but has been heling me pack by carrying things. 


Thanks so much for your love and concern.  We have tonight, tomorow, and part of tomorrow night to stay online.  We will be heading up to the immigrant church on the mountain (where our cell phones don't work) tomorow evening past midnight.  Right now the hardest thing is seeing the sheer glee and delight of the people who evicted us.  How can people be so cruel????

Update for those who know me and care, if they are still here
7 years ago

This last post was a year ago.  Our family lived in primitive conditions with magrant workers for 2 weeks.  Even in the summer, on the mountain outdoors it was so cold I had to put on every warm thing and blanket that I had.  The dining room there made me gag, with horrific smells and flies all over everything, and a dining table that was impossible to wash.  I ate outside. 


The outhouse accomodanted 10 men and our family, and was over 100 feet from our outdoor sleeping quarters.  I had to visit it several times a night.  I got about 3 hours of sleep a night due to the cold and the noises.  The migrant workers were quiet, but the bombing range at Camp Pendleton was nearby, and the bombing started shortly after I first fell asleep.  It continued for 3 or 4 hours. 


Then, as soon as I went to sleep again, the coyotes started howling, like banshees, hundreds of coyotes.  I am not much afraid of anything but homelessness, and our family used to go to parks at night to hear the coyotes howl, but these were scarier than I have ever experienced before.  And my cat was stiff with terror, gripping my skin under my blankets where I gave her shelter.  Even if I could sleep through the coyote onslaught across a fence 50 feet away, my cat would still have kept me awake in her terror.


After finally sleeping for a few hours, I was awoken by flies all over my body and hot sunshine on my face.  The migrant workers were not supposed to be there, so they wanted us to leave for the city of Temecula quickly so as not to give them away.  Our nation ironically uses their labor, but makes it illegal to park their bodies anywhere at night, just like the homeless, so we were in pretty much the same boat as each other, and despite the primitive conditions, we were very thankful for their willingness to take great risks to enable us to sleep there. 


We spent our days in Temecula, in a mega church which had advertised a "cooling center," but which informed us when we looked for a place to stay by day while homeless, that they had no such thing.  Nevertheless, my husband talked them into allowing us to occupy a tiny corner of their huge corridors where there were soft chairs (very important as my back is all smashed up, and sitting in most chairs causes me great pain), and bathroom facilities (very huge and fancy) and cold water to drink. 


We were subject to complaints and people making faces, but for the first week we were allowed to be there.  We received objections the second week, but were able to stay anyway for another week.  This was the only way I could wash, as I could not stand up in the migrant worker's shower which consisted of opaque plastic and a cold garden hose.  I was able to freshen up daily in the church, but kept much lower appearance standards than normal because I was just too exhausted.  I did lay down on the couch in the church with my lets up over the arm rest and sleep, which I'm sure bugged some people but it was the only way I could get any sleep.


We had to forget about having more than one meal in the day.  Too little time for breakfast, and no money for lunch.  Sometimes we each got a $1 chicken sandwich at Mcdonalds- not much carbs, but you get used to hunger.  A few times we spent the money on a small cake to catch up on carbs.  We were able to eat at night what we prepared ourselves in the filthy fly filled migrant kitchen.  Sometimes our sleeping quarters in the tiny outdoor church were occupied by church services, often involving videos that I found too traumatic and hard to watch, so I just moved my recliner chair outside and watched the dogs scrounge for food.


We used the internet at the library, and were given a weekend at a hotel, by the mega church, probably to keep us out of their hair on Sunday when they had church.  After another week, we got a second stay, and finally found that we were able to pay for that stay to continue.  The migrant workers were starting to be afraid that our presence would reveal their whereabouts and get them ousted, and the mega church was telling us that the kids were coming back to school and that they could not allow our presence in their church while school was in session.  (I guess that means we might possibly turn out to be terrorists, child molesters, or kidnappers, because we were homeless?)


Ironically, what enabled us to stay in the hotel for awhile was a settlement with the hotel by our lawyer, that actually had them paying us reparations for something involving our stay there when they kicked us out, essentially because they claimed we were "homeless".  We were staying there because we lost our house to foreclosure and our credit was shot.

One year later
7 years ago

Once back in a hotel, even in a program that gave us half price rates, we knew tht homelessness was still imminent.  It was day to day, and once the funds from the settlement with the previous hotel were exhausted, we knew that it was only a matter of time before we would be on the streets again.  We were not able to get into any rental situation due to our foreclosure plus a previous eviction when we objected to the landlord covering mold with contact paper after living there for 16 years.  These two unavoidable events (the foreclosure happened because they doubled our house payments) prevented us from being able to rent again, until now- another reason why innocent people become homeless.


In searching for an affordable place to live, we chose northern California because the rents advertised were lower, the temperatures supposedly cooler, and we did not want to move out of state.  My husband got a computer project with some extra income compared to normal, and we moved 600 miles away, leaving much of our belongings behind in storage. 


We had to again stay in motels, and could not secure a rental situation for 6 months.  We were able to find affordable accomodations during the off season months (Nov-April) in the Lake Shasta area because they make most of their money for the year in the summer months, May-September, so they were willing to have low monthly rates the rest of the year (off season).  We did get kicked out of a motel run by a registered sex offender who had molested young girls ages 13 and under.  He was the sole owner, manager, and also cleaned the rooms- not a safe situation for any family with young girls!  He kicked us out in freezing rain when he found out that we are Christians.


Our repeated tries for homes at low rents failed every time due to not only our foreclosure and eviction but also, ironically, our lack of a rental history because of the foreclosure and eviction.  They get you every way.  We only ended up in a rented house (high priced-meaning we have to go hungry to pay the rent but it's worth it) through a total miracle.


We met a couple at the park and got in a conversation.  They were impressed by my art and writing, and showed us theirs, and were also pleased to find people with similar religious standards.  We told them our story, and they told us they had a house for rent, and why didn't we come see it.  When we came over to see it, it was perfect and they did not do a credit check on us.  (We did explain the eviction and foreclosure, and they were okay with that.)


So we are renting again and hoping that building a rental history will enable us to continue to rent and not have to live in tiny motel rooms with 4 people or become homeless again.  In the motel we stayed in the longest (5 months), we had a miniscule fridge and had to cook our meals in the bathroom, washing our dishes beside the toilet.  We had 4 people to a single bed- I slept in my recliner chair, the only surface that doesn't cause me great pain, and my developmentally disabled son slept on the floor.


He has his own whole story.  He lived with the migrant workers an additional 4 months.  They have higher moral standards than our western countries.  They don't turn people out on the streets.  They just move over, or find some place to put an additional person.  So they offered my developmentally disabled son in his 20's a shelf to sleep on.  He said he had to enter from one end, feet first, and work his way along to get his body in place.  Even then, his blanket came off at night, and his legs would sometimes hang off the shelf in the night.  He slept shared the shelf with a small dog.


The migrant workers let him work with him, but the companies would not pay him because of insurance costs, they said.  They take advantage of the migrant workers, leaving them in horrific living conditions, but won't let Americans work those jobs lest they get in trouble over the incredibly dangerous conditions the migrant workers live with just to send a little money for food back to their starving families. 


My son has told me enough stories to fill a book about their hard lives, and their kindness toward him.  They took my boy and turned him into a man, teaching him patiently about how to live with hardship, be clean, be responsible, and stay safe no matter how tough life gets. 


At one point, my son moved in with my oldest son, at Christmas time.  After a few weeks, he kicked out my autistic son, and he became homeless.  He walked 70 miles in 48 hours to get back to the migrant camp where he knew he would find a shelf bed in a tiny camper housing 8 people, and some food.  The police harassed him all the way.  He decided, for whatever reason, to sleep in 15 minute increments, every 3 or 4 hours along the way.  He says that every time he sat down to rest, the police were on him immediately. 


I am running out of characters so will finish the story in another post.

Homeless autistic young adult harassed by police
7 years ago

My autistic son, when he walked 70 miles in 48 hours to get to a migrant camp where he could find shelter and food, could barely stay awake.  His legs were cramped up and he was very cold.  He had no money, but was given one dollar both days by passers by, which he used to buy fast food items with the highest carbohydrate count he could find for one dollar. 


Every time he lay down for a few minutes, the police were over there in minutes.  At night, when he laid down, police car lights were on him instantly.  They seemed to spend their time mainly looking for homeless people ("fugitives" or "vagrants" like that was the most important way to protect citizens.  (They are the same way with immigrants- homeless people, recognize your brothers and sisters in the struggle!)


In order to avoid the police, my son took a route that was fraught with dangers, including rattle snakes, large packs of coyotes, and mountain lions.  He had no cell phone, so I could not get hold of him.  I was very upset when my oldest son told me that he had kicked my autistic son, who cannot make it in modern society alone, out of his apartment and didn't know where he was.  I was crying and praying for my austic son daily, begging God to give me word of where he was, to protect him, and to tell him I wanted him to come home, so he would be safe.


During the times when he was harrassed by police I sense that and prayed for him not to be arrested, and while they came close to arresting him several times, he was not arrested.  Then I felt a terrible feeling one night at around midnight, that he was about to be killed.  I told my husband and youngest son to hold my hands and pray for his life.  This is what he later told me happened that night.


In order to avoid the police, he walked up a mountain to a wild area, where there were millionaires houses scattered on large properties, and a huge amount of overgrowth where mountain lions, coyotes, and according to the migrant workers, also black panthers running wild up there.  My son lay down to catch a little sleep, and then woke up suddenly with his hair standing on end.  It was just a bad feeling, but I had taught him when he was young to pay attention to those kinds of feelings because they are a warning of danger.


When my son stood up, he saw a mountain lion a short distance away, poised to pounce.  He started walking quickly, hoping a car would come along, or that someone would take him in.  The mountain lion followed him down the road.  He saw a home owner of a large estate come to his gate, and begged the man to drive him somewhere safe, but the man ignored him, even though he told him that a mountain lion was stalking him.  A while later, a car went rushing past, and then he didn't see the mountain lion again.  He told me the migrant workers were upset when they found out that he had taken such an unsafe route, but he did so because he could not catch any sleep at all on city streets without the police being on him the moment he sat down.


While I was praying for God to be a cell phone for me and tell my son to come home, not because I don't like the migrant workers he was with, but because I knew he was going hungry and feared he would end up in Mexico, in some dangerous area, and I might not see him again, my son started feeling my spirit calling him every morning, early in the morning, which was when I cried and prayed for him to know I needed him to come home. 


One morning, the feeling was very strong, and he had a vision of me crying my eyes out, and of him trying to fly to me and give me a cup of tea, but I remained just out of reach.  He decided that day that the first time he got hold of some money he would get a cell phone and call me immediately.  And he did.  I was almost crying, and I said, "Do you think you might be able to come up here and see us?"  To my astonishment, he said, "I am packing my bags right now.  I will be on the bus tonight.  Can you pick me up in Redding at 11 in the morning?" 


He has been with us ever since, telling us stories of all he went through.  He is now in a rented house, and in a program for the developmentally disabled, that helps those with autism.  He is in the program for life.  Tomorrow morning, we will find out what this program will do for him.  They say they can help him get work or start a business and make money to live on.  I am so thankful for all the migrant workers did for him, and love them for it, but long term, that life style would have killed him, I know from his stories. 


We need the prayers of those who pray (in whatever way, to their own God) because we are due to have our electricity turned off on Thursday if we can't p[ay by tomorrow, and we do not have the money to pay.  It is in the hundreds because of high AC costs because my youngest son almost died from heat stroke, and it is triple digits here right now.  And we are also unable to pay the rent this month.  We are applying for food stamps, and disability for my autistic son, and my husband is still looking for work.  If we can't find help in time, (and we are leaving no stone unturned but there is very little help avaiilable) we may be homeless again soon. 


Please pray for us.  And help if you are able.  Either way, I hope this story helps or touches someone.  Let me know if it does.  Harmony, if you read this, please contact me by private message and I will give you my e-mail.  I miss you so much!




7 years ago

l walk through the streets of New York and see
So many lost souls and yet tourists walking past so quickly
What about the homeless?

Doesn't anyone feel their pain?
Can you imagine sleeping on a train?
So close your eyes and think what you could lose
If you take a moment to step in their shoes


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