Prepare To Be Homeless

On the subject of money:

Although being homeless is no way to live – there is no good reason for being homeless – there are things that a person can do, so to do homelessness well.   And, by doing homelessness “well” I mean being homeless for the shortest period of time possible.

The most important thing you can do, is to be honest with you self about your situation.   How much money do you have?  How much money can you count on each month, each week, each day?    Has your income stopped coming?      The only thing that really matters in maintaining a home of your own is your income.    I have always hated money, I hate worrying about money, I hate that it controls so much of my life.  Still, one’s ability to control his finances plays a very big role in one’s life, especially if one becomes homeless.

You may be inclined to spend every penny you have on rent and utilities on the home you currently have.  But, if you know that eviction is coming, and that you can’t stop it from coming, it is imperative that you create a fund for yourself to meet your  needs while homeless.   It can be expensive to be homeless, that is, if you are also making a sincere effort to get out of homelessness.

You may find yourself homeless in a strange new town, or you may find yourself homeless in your own home town.    But even if you end up homeless in your home town, most services for the homeless are located in areas of the town that you’ve never visited before.   You will have to learn the city, and where all the services are, as quickly as possible.    For this, the first thing you should buy with your homeless fund is a monthly bus pass.  Those will cost anywhere from 50 to 100 bucks for each month, per person.   Some cities keep all the homeless facilities in the same general location, but not all do that.   And some cities are very large, and though relatively speaking, the homeless facilities are close together, it might make things easier for getting around.

An angel blessed me with a monthly bus pass when I arrived here in San Diego.   I’d still be at square one without it.    It goes without saying that a homeless person should learn everything he can about his city of homelessness.   Not only should you locate the homeless facilities and learn what all services they provide, you should also learn the location of such things as the public libraries, post offices, police department, fire halls, grocery stores, convenient stores, public restrooms, parks, bus stations and city bus routes, etc.   Having a monthly bus pass makes learning all this stuff possible.   Travel all around the city, this information will help you now, and later on, such as when looking for a job.

It is also better to travel as light as possible.  Put your things into storage if you can afford to maintain the rent on a storage facility.  But if you don’t have a renewable source of income, you should get used to the idea of forfeiting all but the most basic of personal possessions.    To avoid looking like a homeless person, carry ONLY ONE bag with you, preferably a back pack.   That means everything you own should fit well into that one back pack.   And by all means, don’t over stuff your back pack.  Nothing ruins a back pack faster than the stress on the seems and zippers due to over loading it.

As far as clothing, keep only the clothes on your back and one change of pants and shirt.  A couple pairs of socks and underwear is ok.   The point is to make sure you have something to wear, while you are washing your dirty clothes.   And this is another reason to keep a stash of money for your homelessness.  Washing laundry will cost 4 or 5 dollars for a single load.   You can try washing clothing in public restroom sinks, etc, but anymore, the police and others are well aware of that trick, they keep an eye out for it, and they’ll bust you if you try it.   Know this, though, if you do wash your own clothes, then keep a small but powerful hair dryer with you, they do a pretty good job of drying clothes, albeit one item at a time.

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About Kevin Barbieux

I have been diagnosed as being chronically homeless. I write about my experiences and opinions of being homeless
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