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15 Ways to Survive Homelessness

by Delarno
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According to HUD’s annual point-in-time count in January of 2019, 17 out of every 10,000 people have experienced homelessness which was approximately 567,717 individuals. The ordeal of homelessness is not just about lacking a roof over one’s head; it’s a multifaceted crisis that affects every aspect of a person’s life. In our blog post, 15 Ways to Survive Homelessness, we aim to delve into practical strategies that can provide crucial support and guidance for those grappling with this harsh reality. From securing shelter and food to maintaining hygiene and safety, our guide offers actionable tips that are designed to assist individuals in navigating the complexities of homelessness. These strategies are more than survival tips; they are steps towards preserving human dignity and enhancing quality of life under difficult circumstances.

Understanding the landscape of resources and help available is vital for anyone experiencing homelessness. This guide seeks to illuminate the paths one can take to access emergency services, healthcare, and community support, while also highlighting how to safeguard personal well-being and security in unstable environments. Each piece of advice in “15 Ways to Survive Homelessness” is tailored to help individuals facing these challenges to not only cope with their immediate needs but also to lay groundwork for future stability.

homelessnessHere Are 15 Ways to Survive Homelessness

  1. Cell Phone Is Crucial During Homelessness

Having a cell phone is crucial when dealing with homelessness. It’s your primary tool for communication, finding resources like a homeless shelter, and maintaining connections that could lead to housing solutions. If the cost of your current plan is too high, switch to a more affordable option immediately. If you’re unable to pay for a phone, ask family or friends if you can join their plan, which might offer a reduced rate.

  1. Gym Membership for Hygiene Needs

Maintaining personal hygiene and health is vital during homelessness. A gym membership offers a place not only for physical exercise but also for taking care of basic hygiene needs like showering. Staying clean and healthy aids in preserving your dignity and self-esteem, which are especially important during such trying times.

  1. Keep a Good Appearance during Homelessness

Your appearance can influence how others perceive and treat you. Regular access to laundry facilities can help maintain a neat appearance, making it less apparent that you are homeless. This could increase your chances of receiving help, from job offers to food, and improve interactions with others who may offer support.

  1. Consider Self Help and Personal Goals for Motivation

Invest time in self-improvement and mental health. Many communities offer free classes or access to libraries where you can find self-help books. Educating yourself and setting personal goals can keep you motivated and prepare you for a better future once your situation improves.

  1. Be Honest with Others

Honesty about your situation can elicit empathy and assistance from others. Whether you’ve been impacted by economic downturns or personal crises, sharing your story can lead to support from unexpected sources. People often want to help if they understand your circumstances.

  1. Car Camping as Shelter During Homelessness

Using your car as temporary shelter offers a flexible and relatively safe option during homelessness. When car camping, it’s important to identify locations where overnight parking is allowed and safe. Industrial parks often have less traffic at night, providing quiet areas to park without disturbance. Large retail parking lots, especially those belonging to 24-hour supermarkets or department stores, may also be suitable as they have security and are well-lit, enhancing personal safety. Be mindful of local laws to avoid fines or being towed, and consider rotating among several reliable spots to stay under the radar and reduce the likelihood of complaints.

  1. Hangout Places as Informal Workspace

Public spaces such as cafes, libraries, and fast-food restaurants with free Wi-Fi offer more than just internet access; they provide a warm, safe space to spend the day. When utilizing these spaces, it’s crucial to maintain a low profile by being polite and discrete. Purchasing a small item can justify your extended stay, and regularly frequenting the same place can help in building a rapport with staff, potentially leading to occasional meals or drinks. These locations can also serve as informal workspaces where you can seek employment online or handle other necessary tasks.

  1. Save as Much as You Can During Homelessness

Effective money management is crucial when facing financial instability. Prioritize essential expenses like food and healthcare over non-essential debts. In dire situations, it’s appropriate to ask for financial assistance from friends, family, or community members. Explaining your situation honestly can garner empathy and aid from others. Additionally, engaging with charitable organizations that offer direct financial assistance can provide short-term relief, allowing you to stabilize your financial situation temporarily.

  1. Storage only the Essentials

Reconsider the need for paid storage facilities, as they can be a significant and unnecessary expense. Evaluate your possessions and keep only the essentials and items of sentimental value. If possible, store these items with trusted friends or family. This approach not only saves money but also reduces the worry about the security of your belongings, allowing you to focus on more immediate concerns like finding stable housing and employment.

  1. Prioritize Car Maintenance During Homelessness

If your vehicle doubles as your living space, regular maintenance becomes even more critical. Ensure that your vehicle is reliable and safe to drive, focusing on essential repairs such as tire replacements, oil changes, and brake checks. If finances are tight, prioritize these expenditures over less critical spending, and consider using credit for these essential services if cash flow is an issue. Keeping your car in good working order ensures that it remains a viable shelter and transportation option.

  1. Have Emergency Contacts List

Maintain a comprehensive list of emergency contacts that include local homeless organizations, homeless centers, and the Dept of Homeless Services. This list should also have contacts for emergency housing and immediate housing assistance for homeless individuals. Having these contacts readily available can expedite the process of getting help in urgent situations, from finding overnight shelter to securing longer-term housing solutions.

  1. Utilize Public Libraries When Facing Homelessness

Public libraries are a treasure trove of resources for individuals facing homelessness. Beyond access to books and the internet, many libraries offer programs and workshops aimed at skill enhancement and job searching. Libraries provide a quiet, safe environment for you to focus on personal development and job applications, often with assistance from library staff who can guide you to additional resources and information.

  1. Access Government and Nonprofit Assistance

Establish connections with local government agencies and nonprofit organizations that offer services tailored to those experiencing homelessness. These services can include access to food stamps, emergency housing programs, healthcare, and job placement services. Familiarizing yourself with how to access these programs can significantly alleviate the burdens of homelessness, providing you with necessary support systems to improve your situation and ultimately transition out of homelessness.

  1. Build a Support Network with Other Homeless People

Try to build a support network that includes other individuals experiencing homelessness, volunteers, and staff at homeless shelters and homeless centers. This network can provide emotional support, share resources and information about services like emergency homeless assistance, and offer encouragement.

  1. Stay Informed About Legal Rights

Educate yourself about your legal rights, especially concerning homelessness. Many areas have protections for homeless individuals regarding their treatment by law enforcement and access to public spaces. Understanding these rights can protect you from exploitation and mistreatment.

As we conclude our exploration of “15 Ways to Survive Homelessness,” it is important to acknowledge the resilience and strength required to navigate such a challenging situation. The strategies outlined in this guide are intended to empower those affected by homelessness with knowledge and tools that support survival and facilitate a return to stability. While the road may be fraught with obstacles, understanding how to effectively utilize available resources can make a significant difference in the journey towards overcoming homelessness.

The journey of moving out of homelessness is deeply personal and varies from one individual to another. It is our hope that this guide serves as a beacon of information and encouragement for those who find themselves in this predicament. Remember, each step taken is a move towards regaining control over one’s circumstances. We urge everyone facing this challenge to reach out for help, engage with community resources, and remember that every day brings a new opportunity for progress and hope.

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